There is nothing wrong with the idea of website redesigning to make it better but you should avoid these common web redesign mistakes or else you will end up making it worse.
Before you consider website redesigning, make sure that it’s really needed. Apart from the responsiveness factor that came into picture lately, are there issues with your current web design?
Is your web design causing traffic and/or revenue loss?
The answer to this question needs some analysis of your website traffic and usability factors. Utilize online evaluation tools like criticue.com which allow you to submit your site and get feedback from peers. You would get some valuable insights from peer review which may not be obvious to you. Also, have a look at the bounce rate & heat map of the site. After you have established that it’s the bad web design affecting your site, only then you should commence the web redesigning process.
What makes a bad website redesign?
Incorrect renaming of taxonomies
Your menu items & categories form an essential part of site navigation. If you rename a popular category without proper analysis, then chances are that your web traffic is going to suffer. In the picture above, first menu has items like ‘MacApp’ & ‘Ideas & Votes’ which to the end user might not be appealing. The second menu has more generic terms like ‘Download’ & ‘Resources’ which are sure to get user’s attention.
Rating/Voting system – Bad usability example
If you have a rating or voting system on your site that’s working well then don’t change it just to make it look better, it might backfire. As you can see in the example image above, the second option seems to give a trendy feel where the up vote/down vote arrows appear on mouse over event on the number. The problem with this design approach is that many people won’t realise that there is a voting option until they unwittingly hover the mouse on the number. Even when the voting arrows do appear, there is no clear indication as to their purpose. On the contrary if you see the first option, it might look but old but there is a clear call to action engaging users to vote.
Using Unconventional Colours
Take a look at the first image, the colours are really harsh on eyes. The text colour is not consistent, there’s blue, read & white text all over the web page. It uses dark blue foreground on dark red background with white blocks embedded in between. It’s a clear cut example of poor website design.
The second image shows homepage of Freshbooks.com which immediately appeals to the eye in a pleasant way. The page uses colour combination & contrast. There are no gaudy colours used and there are clear CTA’s.
Resorting to low quality graphics
The first example uses lot of low quality graphic elements which are not hard on eyes but bury the key information.
The second one is homepage of Dropbox, which uses minimal graphic elements that are high quality and aid to convey the message.
Switching to unreadable fonts
Choosing fonts that are hard to read can quickly off put visitors. Remember you only have a short time to engage the site visitors, if they can’t read your site information they will bounce off in an instant as shown in first picture.
The second picture shows clever use of legible fonts.
There is an interesting case study by Icons8 on how they lost nearly 50% traffic due to website redesign. Here’s the link to the case study – https://icons8.com/articles/how-we-lost-47-of-our-users-after-a-redesign/