The world wide web has undergone a transformation between its initial incarnation and the modern day. Gone are the days of text-based forums, vanity sites, and IRC communication. The modern internet is a fast-paced, innately social experience, with user tastes and standards changing all the time. It can be hard to keep up, but it’s vital that your website updates its look, feel, and functionality to keep up with what users want. It can be hard to know when the best time for a refresh is, but several key factors may tell you and your web team that it’s time to consider a redesign.
The single biggest indication that your website needs to refresh its look is if you are receiving user feedback – and it’s negative. Dated websites have two things in common, a look that seems like it has not kept up with the times, and design decisions that can be frustrating for a modern user. One example of this is a failure to keep up with UX standards, leading to usability issues such as buried links, hard-to-find resources, and more. While it’s often said that the internet has affected our collective attention spans, it’s a simple fact that users have little patience for dated design decisions that lead to a frustrating experience. If you are consistently hearing from your users that things are hard to find on your website, or it takes them more than two clicks to find important resources, it may be time to consider a design refresh.
If there’s one thing that modern users don’t lack, it’s choices. If your users are complaining and you have yet to commit to a comprehensive website refresh, they may have very few incentives to stay. If someone else is offering the same thing that you are with a more pleasant experience, your users are being actively incentivized to go to those sites rather than yours. If your analytics are consistently going down even as you add content to your site, it may be a key indicator that your overall design needs a refresh.
The internet moves fast, and you need to move faster if you want to stay competitive. A good webmaster is going to be consistently looking at what your competitors are doing with their design, content offerings, and usability decisions. Should you notice that your competitors all seem to be redesigning their interfaces around the same time, you have little choice but to do the same. This signals to your users that you are staying ahead of the curve and have their convenience and experiences in mind.
To conclude, it can be somewhat of a balancing act when considering whether or not your website needs a refresh. However, if you notice any of the above indicators, it may well be time to hire a competent web design firm to help your site make this important transition – like us. 😉