Monday, 29 July 2013

To Redesign or Realign, That is the Question

Internet is a rapidly evolving environment. When you create any resource you should be aware that its relevance will not exceed 2-3 years. After that, everything that once seemed to be the greatest and the newest will look outdated. So it’s really important to redesign sites once in a while.

“Time to make redesign…” says a tiny voice somewhere at the back of your mind. Even though you’re pretty sure your site is both visually appealing and usable, you will listen to it. And when it starts sounding more persuasive you get the redesign process started. If you’re good at designing and are aware of the latest design trends and techniques you’ll make things right, and will finish sooner than Justin Bieber releases another one album. But if, design is not your piece of work you need to use services of professionals.
This redesign story has another side, you need to decide whether you want to redesign your site or realign. As for these two notions there is a certain difference between them:

redesign is focused on aesthetic changes: color schemes, graphics, typography, etc.;
Redesign will consist of changing graphics, color scheme, and other visual elements of site’s design. Little or no attention is usually paid to the structure and functionality of the site. Content usually stays the same, too.

realignment is focused on purpose and function.

When is Redesign Needed?

When the structure of your site is just the way you want it. Your users are happy, your site performance is exactly what you wanted it to be. The only problem is that your site looked completely the same for quite a while. Being perfectly functional it does what it needs to do, though it looks like a throwback and you’re worried it might be costing you new business.


If you’re treating your site as your own child, probably you were tracking its performance metrics and you already know which parts/things/aspects at your site are popular with customers and which are not. In order to understand whether you need website redesign or realign you need to answer some questions.
Is your website design outdated? (If you are not pretty sure, ask someone.)
Does your site need a significant increase of information in it?
Have all the planned features been implemented when design was developed?
Is there a need to change the quality of site content?
Do you have sufficient amount of traffic at your site?
Have the positions of the site in search queries changed (for better or worse)?
Simple and effective way to figure out whether you need redesign or not:
Very lowWebsite visitors are not interested at all. The ideology of the site is wrong. Reconstruction is highly recommended.
LowWebsite visitors are not interesting enough. Probably the information is outdated. Reconstruction of the site is recommended.
AverageIndicators are profitable. Reconstruction of the site is required. Individual components of the site are need to be reconstructed.
HighIndicators are good enough. Website is effective and profitable. Reconstruction of the site is not required. You’re recommended to increase the amount of content.
Very highThe site is of a great interest for the visitors. Website is highly effective. Please consider debugging and general optimization of the site.

  • When is Realignment Needed?

Realignment, when compared to redesign, has a greater focus on UX and usability. With realigning, your site you are going to fix specific issues that you were able to find in the functionality or structure of your resource, and all these changes can be made along with redesigning.
Before you start you need to find exact items of realignment. When you understand what things are working for the sake of your site and which are scathing your site.
You need to understand that both notions redesigning and realigning are pretty close if you start changing fonts you’ll definitely change colors or the structure of paragraphs.

Realignment Options

Open new sections including news feeds, articles, photo galleries, additional sections of the catalogue, visitor statistics and much more, that is needed to improve the site.
Increase current site structure – product catalog, user accounts, etc.
Eliminate site errors – incorrect page displays, various bugs, uneven tables, improper layout, typographical errors in the texts, clean code.
Transfer to another CMS, if the previous lost its topicality or works improperly.
Integration with SMS services if needed.
Renewing content, adding new and up-to-date info, including articles, reports, reviews, so as visual content items (photos and videos).
Migrating to another hosting if you current does not satisfy requirements of your resource or lowered the quality of services. To find how to migrate with minimum downtime, see the manual.
Optimize your text content for better SEO capabilities to improve overall readability.
So, let’s summarize: if you’re going to change some fonts, colors or visual elements redesigning is waiting for you. And if, you’re thinking about changes in structure, website categories or some deeper changes that’s going to be realignment.

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