Three Questions to Ask When Planning a Website Redesign

A good online experience could be the difference between retaining new members and driving them away. Tackling a few important questions before you start your website redesign will help you create a roadmap to success.

An association’s website is a window into the soul of an organization, its people, and its mission. It’s where people go to learn about you—but they’ll leave quickly if your site is poorly designed. An Adobe survey reported that 39 percent of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or it takes too long to load, and 38 percent will stop engaging if it’s unattractive. On top of that, 88 percent are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

To get started on your redesign journey, ask these three key questions.

What Is Our Main Goal?

Narrowing down your goals and objectives will help inform your design decisions. Are you redesigning for easier navigation? Is the site too slow and in need of a performance boost? Does the redesign reflect a larger change of direction within the organization?

For the California Speech Language Hearing Association, a website redesign came as a result of a brand refresh. After CSHA approved a new vision statement, mission statement, logo, and tagline, it began redesigning its website. In addition to its improved overall functionality, the new website now tells the story of where CSHA is today and puts more emphasis on its members and their stories.

In addition, its new tagline, “Human Lives. Human Connection,” is prominent, and CSHA’s revamped position as a thought leader in the industry is right on the homepage, with links to a resource library and education opportunities.

What Do Users Need Right Now?

Internet browsing habits and expectations have changed over the years, so what your website offers might not be the kind of web experience people are currently looking for. Nowadays, users want to find new information immediately—and from the palm of their hands.

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation tapped into these needs and redesigned its website for easier navigation and mobile optimization. Now, the site’s homepage contains three categories—patient or caregiver, researcher, and supporter/advocate—so visitors can quickly access the information that is relevant to them.

To keep visitors abreast of what they need to know right now, the organization regularly updates its site with new content, including the latest advances in lung cancer treatment, upcoming events, and updates on foundation programs.

Does Our Team Have What It Needs to Run Our Website?

It’s easy to think of a web redesign as something for members and other visitors, but just as important is how well your website works for internal users who are responsible for managing security risks, handling sensitive data, and creating content that will live on the site.

Sure, Choose Chicago’s website redesign aimed to improve the user experience by offering more immersive content experiences. But the organization also offered more versatility for internal users by moving from a licensed content management system to an open-source solution, which allows developers to modify a piece of software’s source code to suit their needs.

(Ngampol Thongsai/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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