Taking the “re” out of redesign

Thursday October 23, 2008

Web “redesign” seems to be a misnomer. “Redesign” implies moving this here and that there. Putting in new headlines, changing a color or two. Just sprucing things up. Easy, quick. Right? Not quite.

O’Berry Cavanaugh Web guru, Joe, puts it this way: “A Web site is a five-course meal, not a bag of groceries. You can’t remove the milk and replace it with broccoli without changing the flavor. When embarking on a redesign, you’re putting together a new meal — you’re not adding garnish.”

A “redesign” should start at the beginning, not some spot in the middle. What are the key messages? The client’s philosophies? The target audience? What works for the consumer and what doesn’t? What role will advertising campaigns and other marketing efforts play? It’s only later that we get to what content stays, which colors get changed, where to place images.

Web sites are constantly evolving given changing technology, new consumer needs, altered marketing dynamics. A successful “redesign” includes as much backend and strategy work as a well-planned initial site launch.

So we’re advocating for taking the perceived “re” out of “redesign.” Let’s call it what it is – new construction. A gutting of the old structure. Give the job its deserved credit as a new, separate entity that was built from the ground up with maybe the occasional repurposed element. Let’s think meals, not non-cohesive jumbles of ingredients.

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