You’ve just rolled out a new Website, but the results aren’t what you expected. You suspect you need to tweak and fine-tune the redesign.

But how do you know when your Website redesign needs further fixes or refinements? And if it does need refinement, how much do you need to do?

Indicators More Work is Needed

First of all, there are some common indicators that tell you something is wrong with your current Website – whenever you rolled it out (last week or last year). When any of the following are true, you definitely need to take action:

  • Your incoming traffic is stagnant or slipping
  • Casual comments from prospective clients are that they couldn’t find the information you mentioned on your Website
  • The majority of your customers are not completing transactions they start
  • Only a small percentage if users clicking on your home page or landing pages
  • Users are spending less than a minute with your site total

So, if you’re experiencing any of these issues, you now know you need help.  But what exactly so you need to do to fix the problems, and how far should you go in seeking outside help?

Do You Need to Go Back to the Drawing Board?

One question I hear a lot from clients who’ve recently completed a Website redesign with disappointing results is, do we need to completely re-do it?  The answer is: Most likely not. There are a wealth of options to choose from in “fine-tuning” a design, and not all of them have at their core changing their look and feel, for example.

So the good news is,  you’ve just completed a new Website and it still isn’t doing everything you want to do, you may simply need design refinements in order to improve engagement, click-throughs or usability.

You can fine tune your site for optimal results (using the same look and feel you already have)  simply reworking such user interface elements as:

  • Screen prompts
  • Button labels
  • Button size and placement

None of these changes needs to radically impact your overall Look & Feel (if you’re attached to it) or underlying style guide (if you have one).

Sometimes, also, removing something that is cluttering a page or template may help users focus on what’s most important

Updates and refinements can have big impact on your bottomline, so it’s worth trying a few refinements either with your internal team or an outside Usability specialist.

One Must-Do: User Testing

User testing is an absolute requirement before doing any kind of refinement on an existing design.  One variations of a page can be tested against another. This is known as an A/B test, and is one of the most useful things you can do to improve your Website. Google analytics offers one useful (inexpensive) way of running an A/B test to test the effectiveness of “Version A” versus “Version B” of any page.

Updates can be immediately tested and additional tweaks made, based on results of the test. The tweak or refinement then becomes “Version C,” which can be tested against  “A” or “B,” again.  You can do this two or more times to really zero in on refinements. All this adds up to a level of confidence with your final Website design. Whether you do it yourself or with an outside consultant, iterative refinements are the name of the game in making you Website work for your users and your organization.

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