Time for a major website redesign? Maybe not

Itching for a website redesign?

Careful: It might not be a smart move. According to research from the Nielsen Norman Group — reported at Radical Redesign or Incremental Change? — radical website changes sometimes leave users (your donors) confused, unhappy, and less responsive.

Incremental improvements to your website might be a better way to go:

You may be bored with your current site, but customers likely aren’t: they usually don’t sit and stare at the site for extended periods every day. [U]sers tend to like designs that are safe and familiar.

So hold your horses.

There are some situations where a major change is necessary, according to the post. Those include:


  • The gains from making incremental changes are miniscule or nonexistent
  • The technology is severely outdated, making critical changes impossible
  • Architecturally the site is a tangled mess
  • Severely low conversion rates site-wide
  • Benchmarking research reveals your site is far inferior to the competition


Comments

4 responses to “Time for a major website redesign? Maybe not”

  1. This research reinforces something many marketers miss – our human limits. More and more marketers seek our attention, but our attention spans aren’t bigger. User-centered website design recognizes those limits, and the value of familiar structures, while offering new content within those structures. Changing website structure just for the sake of change may mean losing users. It reminds me of research in product choice – choice benefits brands, but too many choices can hurt them. See http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/research-too-much-choice-can-hurt-brand-performance

  2. This research reinforces something many marketers miss – our human limits. More and more marketers seek our attention, but our attention spans aren’t bigger. User-centered website design recognizes those limits, and the value of familiar structures, while offering new content within those structures. Changing website structure just for the sake of change may mean losing users. It reminds me of research in product choice – choice benefits brands, but too many choices can hurt them. See http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/research-too-much-choice-can-hurt-brand-performance

  3. It definitely is important to think about spontaneous redesigning first before acting upon it. It must be done carefully and easily, not all at once or else you risk your entire website. Clients at http://www.ggwebonline.com/ can always help with slow redesign/simple mechanics of a website if anyone needs affordable, customization service.

  4. It definitely is important to think about spontaneous redesigning first before acting upon it. It must be done carefully and easily, not all at once or else you risk your entire website. Clients at http://www.ggwebonline.com/ can always help with slow redesign/simple mechanics of a website if anyone needs affordable, customization service.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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