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Jenna Dehn

UX Design Lead

Jenna listens closely to understand clients’ goals and uncover solutions for their marketing and design challenges. She specializes in developing wireframes and prototypes with a strong focus on UX/UI and collaborates with Northwoods' digital strategists to ensure that strategy guides the design process. Jenna has a wealth of experience designing for data and creates stunning page layouts that showcase complex product information in a digestible format. She enjoys creating infographics, display ads, and illustrations that enrich marketing collateral and has a knack for using movement to bring websites to life. Away from Northwoods, Jenna enjoys downhill skiing, and her fuel of choice is Dr. Pepper. Be on the lookout for her cats Viper, Saber, and Flash, who are frequent guests during WFH calls.

10 Signs It's Time to Redesign Your Website

September 25, 2023 | Jenna Dehn, UX Design Lead

7 Minute Read

Many visitors leave websites that are outdated or have usability issues. That’s why it’s so critical to update your site and to ensure it’s meeting your users’ needs. Here are some of the telltale signs that your website may be in need of a redesign.

1. Your Website Is Difficult to Navigate

Users must quickly and easily understand how to navigate your website. Navigation directly influences the user experience. Well thought-out navigation carries users to the information they need. Good organization and menu labels can also alert users to additional products or services previously unknown to them.

Beyond the nav bar, page content should be easy to navigate. Cluttered layout or design can overwhelm users and make it hard to digest the valuable information on your website. If your users are having a hard time finding the information they need, it’s time to update your navigation, content layouts, and possibly revamp your website’s search functionality.

2. Your Website Doesn’t Match Your Brand

Your website is responsible for your company’s first impression on many prospective customers.

Does your site reflect your brand identity? If you recently rebranded, but left the website behind, it doesn’t. Even without a rebranding, your company could have evolved away from an old design.

A website that aligns with your brand:

  • increases trust and credibility with your users
  • becomes part of a consistent experience at every point of customer interaction
  • increases brand recognition
  • differentiates your business from your competitors
  • makes a positive first impression. 

(If you need help developing a strong brand for your business, we can provide that.)

3. Your Website Is Hard to Manage

If you avoid making changes or updates to your website because it feels too fragile or complicated, then it’s time for a redesign. Simple content changes should never be challenging or scary. You shouldn’t have to rely on developers to manage content updates.

If your website doesn’t allow for simple updates, its technology could be obsolescent. And old design tends to go hand in hand with old tech. 

Update to a more user-friendly content management system and take the time to modernize your website’s design. Make your end users and your web managers happy.

4. Your Website Design is Outdated

MarketSplash reports that 52% of users say aesthetics is the main reason they won't return to a website. That sounds right, in my experience. A well-designed website builds trust with your audience, by establishing a good first impression and providing purposeful user experience. The inverse: A poorly designed website damages your credibility and make users nervous about working with you. For example, if you needed lawn care services, which would you choose?

Screengrabs of home pages of two different lawn care websites.  

Company 1 has issues with responsive design; note the chopped-off logo and text at the top. Their services are not clearly listed on the homepage. Are the grass images are clickable or not? Hard to tell. The page layout lacks structure.  

Company 2 has a clear structure and clean design. The content provides the users with plenty of information, and that info funnels them further into the website. The imagery is pleasant and looks professional.

Users are likely to look at the first site and think: Are these guys still in business? Is this site secure? Should I even leave a phone number? The second company looks more professional and trustworthy.

5. Your Website Template Isn’t Flexible Enough for Your Content

As your business grows, you’ll add content to your website, to highlight your new products or introduce new services. Your site’s template might make it difficult or impossible to showcase content in specific ways. Your website design should enhance the content, not force you to work around the constraints of the design.

Your website must grow with your business. If it can’t keep up, it’s time for a website redesign that will open up options to display your content in the most user-friendly way.

6. Your Website Doesn’t Meet Your Users’ Needs

If your website fails to deliver the leads or conversions you expect, reevaluate both design and content. It’s all about accommodating user needs. If your site fails to engage and lacks valuable content, visitors will leave and go to your competitors to find what they seek.

Small updates can help around the edges. A total makeover that bakes in user needs holistically is often a better solution.

Per MarketSplash: 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website if they’ve had a bad experience.

So prioritize their needs, preferences, and overall experience above all else. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, users are probably encountering outdated information, experiencing usability issues, and being left with a poor experience. Put them first. Make them happy. Satisfied users are more likely to return and engage with your site.

7. Your Website Isn’t Accessible

Your website needs to accommodate all users. Make sure that people with disabilities can comfortably use and interact with it. Note that accessibility accommodations have a way of improving overall usability, even for those without disabilities.

Accessibility includes thoughtful management and maintenance of content and thinking through design. For example: Have strong hover states on your buttons that rely on more than just a simple color change. Make sure your color scheme provides enough contrast to meet accessibility standards. WCAG 2.0 level AA requires a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.

Among considerations on the development side: Make sure your website can be navigated via keyboard. Include a skip-to-content link at the beginning of each page, to allow keyboard users to bypass clicking through the navigation before getting to the content.

There’s a lot to consider in making sure your website meets accessibility requirements. To learn more about them see our, Website Accessibility and You post.

8. Slow Loading Times

Website users aren’t patient.

Slow loading is the primary reason for a visitor to leave a website; it accounts for 88.5% of cases. Furthermore, slow-responding websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales annually.

Fast websites encourage users to interact with content. This leads to increased active time spent on your site and more engagement with your brand. Users are more likely to trust and engage with a website that loads quickly. Slow-loading pages raise red flags that decrease trust and credibility.

If your website is slow, rebuild it for speed.

9. It’s Been a While Since You Made Any Website Updates

We recommend a website update every three to five years.

This routine keeps you on top of users’ needs. Good user experience is not a one-and-done. It’s maintenance, an ongoing process, because both your users and your business evolve constantly. The primary audiences you're targeting may have changed, or maybe you’ve started to target new markets.

Regular redesigns can keep your website’s design modern and your content fresh, and that’s great for SEO. Google doesn't necessarily stop crawling your website if the content becomes stale, but it might crawl it less frequently. Google prefers to crawl and index fresh, up-to-date content because it aims to provide users with the most relevant and current search results.

10. You Don’t Really Know Your Users

Sometimes we get so caught up in our business goals that we lose sight of how users really interact with our websites. What might feel intuitive to you, as an insider, might baffle visitors. Don’t guess at this. User testing is a great place to start a site redesign.

User testing helps uncover usability issues, pain points, and dead ends you might not be aware of. It highlights frustration areas, where users struggle. Websites informed by user testing tend to outperform competitors; of course they do. The humans behind these sites have done the testing, and they know what users want and need. And they give it to them.

User testing, like all UX functions, is an ongoing process, not a one-time action. Frequent user testing provides valuable feedback for improving and evolving your website over time.

Follow the link to learn more: User testing matters; make sure to do it well.

Remember that a website redesign should be a well-planned project that considers the specific goals and the needs of your target audience. It's also essential to consider user feedback and usability testing throughout the redesign process to ensure that any changes made match the needs of your users.

Ready to redesign your website? Reach out to us to get started!