I was recently looking back at our 2014 goals. Every year around this time we plan the coming year – first we look at those tasks we had set the previous year but didn't get to, so we can decide if we should continue to pursue them or chuck them in the virtual round file. This exercise can be pretty eye opening – it's easy to forget the accomplishments and focus on the items you didn't get to put that oh-so-satisfying "done" check mark next to.
The shocker for me was remembering we had launched a new website in the second quarter. How could I forget such a huge accomplishment? I fret over redesigning our company website for about 3 years and then I just forget! 2014 was really busy, a bit stressful, and exciting all at the same time. We signed on a new client mid-year and immediately started working on their logo just after we launched our website, so we really didn't have time to bask in the glory of our in-house accomplishment.
If you have ever suffered through the process, then you know taking on a website redesign can be quite time consuming. I kept avoiding it. The thing is, our current site was simply not representing our company and the kind of service our customers experience when they work with us. Plus, it wasn't getting us anywhere with the new Google algorithms.
While there were many goals for the redesign, it really boiled down to 3 compelling factors:
The old site was no longer easy to use.
Firstly, it was built in Flash – need I say more? Secondly, we had updated sections and added to it over the years, and finally it wasn’t optimized to today’s standards. Most of the difficulties and frustrations with our site were behind the scenes, but over time, navigation suffered on the User Experience side. It was getting harder to find information easily and to make updates. The time had come for a do over – a mulligan, so to speak.
The old site wasn't sending the right message in the first 3 to 5 seconds.
Most experts say that you have 3 to 5 seconds to grab your potential customer's attention. I decided to take an outside-in look at our website to see it through the customer’s eyes. When I did that, it was clear the message being delivered was not the message I intended. Unless outdated and hard to navigate were the new trend, we seriously needed a change. How could I justify what I was advising to clients if we weren't practicing that same advice.
Our site needed to adapt to new standards.
Customer demand changed and so has technology. When we originally built our website, a responsive interface wasn't necessary. Today, however, it’s critical. According to Nielsen, customers are spending increasingly more time on their mobile device. More specifically, their smartphone. While screens on smartphones have gotten bigger, they still aren’t the spacious screens of our desktop or laptop computer. Any site today needs to be optimized for use with mobile devices to meet the expectations of customers today.
We tell our clients that a great Customer Experience is a journey, not a destination. That’s because expectations, standards and technology are always changing. Our old website was great when it was first launched, but the demands and standards for what make a great user interface have changed. It was time to meet those changing demands for my Digital Customer Experience.
Please share any thoughts on what you like or dislike about our new website. We're always looking to improve...
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin’ Good Day!
P.S. Ruff Haus Design is a results focused brand consulting company located in San Diego, CA. Let us help unleash your brand image, connect with your customers and gain their loyalty.