Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, July 19, 2004

Institutional Website Redesign Strategy: Re-decorating Or Re-designing?

Why are companies reluctant to redesign their websites? Here is an interesting interview covering the of why companies and organizations have so much trouble when deciding to improve the look and accessibility fo their Web sites.

The article highlights the importance of getting everyone on the same page, creating mind maps of the key issues and problems to be tackled, and adopting an open-mided attitude that is prone to critical review and iterative testing of the results obtained.


For larger companies, everyone from management on down is short on staff. The last thing they want to do is "assign" themselves another big task. As long as the webmaster keeps abreast of the technical problems, marketing and sales are looking elsewhere to generate revenue. On small business sites, often one or two people wear all the hats, including webmaster and CEO.

They spend all their time selling their services, so creating a website project is a low priority."

..."Getting all the input in one place at the beginning of the project can do wonders for project success. When this is applied to Internet planning (or any technology plan), it removes the barriers and helps each group apply its best creative knowledge. Regardless of the process, you should gather a diverse group to strategize together."

I couldn't be in greater agreement with the final conclusions focusing on the more likely mistakes we make during this process:

a) Lack of good testing.

b) Lack of multiple distribution formats.

c) Failure to solicit participation and feedback from customers. Customers want to give you their opinions about what they like and don't like. Before undertaking a redesign, companies should survey their customers.

d) Redesigning without clear goals in mind. If you are simply going to change colors and fonts, you are re-decorating.

Though the interview/article refers clearly to typical commercial sites trying to sell products and services online, you can easily replace "buy" and "products" with "access/find/subscribe to" and "information/content" and apply any of the above best practices to any institutional site operating in research, development or other non-profit area.



Ben Bradley -
Reference: Darwin [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Monday, July 19 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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