Stop! Are you Really Ready for a Redesign?

The need for a redesign is agreed upon, the budget is approved, and a vendor has been chosen; you have everything needed to begin a full website redesign, right? Possibly, but not necessarily.

Viget Boulder recently hosted a Project Management Meetup in which Josh Zapin, Global Director of eCommerce Operation at Crocs, discussed lessons learned from the recent redesign. The presentation was extremely interesting, and one of the points that most resonated with me was the value in having an organization truly prepared for a redesign, as it made me realize some lessons from our past work seem to be universally true. Even if you have the greatest vendor(s) in the world working on your redesign, it can’t be a success without a few things from you.

Do you know how your internal approval process will work?

A question that is guaranteed to come up at any Viget kickoff meeting is, “What is your approval process like?  Who needs to approve the assets before we can consider them final?” I would imagine that’s a common question in any kickoff, and it’s not only important for you to know the answer, but it’s important for you to be honest about it as well. I think at times it’s tempting to downplay the fact that a few people who aren’t in the room will also need to see assets before moving forward, but this is important information for everyone involved in the project to know and understand.

It’s only natural for a lot of people at the company to want to see assets and provide feedback when the company is undergoing a major redesign. Outline who those people are and be realistic internally about the fact that if that list of people changes or expands, there will be impacts on timing.

Do you have goals identified, and benchmarks measured?

So let’s say you’d like to see an increase in email signups on your site, but by how much? What are the benchmarks for before and after comparison, knowing the number of people signing up for an email might fluctuate depending on promotions, season, publicity or other factors? Are there other measurements you could make or data points you could gather to supplement measuring these goals?

In addition to knowing how many signups you average per day, week, month and year, it would also be great to know how many people get to the email signup page. How much time are people spending on the sign-up page now, and how many of them leave as soon as they arrive at that page? All of these things together can help you see the big picture. Without the additional data points, you might see a 5% increase in email subscriptions and call the redesign a success without realizing there was a 90% increase in the number of people reaching the signup form. Knowing there was a 90% increase in people reaching the form, but only a 5% increase signups would highlight that something isn’t going quite right, and it’s time to test and find out why.

Do you have team members prepared to make this happen?

Having a vendor work on your redesign does not mean your team is off the hook for being engaged and devoting time to the project. You need to have a team in place dedicated throughout the project. Attending reviews, answering questions, providing feedback (or gathering feedback from other people in the company), and focusing on the end budget and timeline will take more than an hour or two a week. A vendor is doing the bulk of the actual work, but progress and efficiency during the project will hinge on your involvement. In order to make your dreams come to life, they need your dedication and time as well.

You’re ready to dive in

Not all of those factors are critical to having a successful redesign, especially since what defines a redesign as a success varies from company to company, but if you can answer ‘Yes’ to all of those questions you are no doubt in a great position moving into the redesign.

What are some other factors you see as important for companies to have a pulse on before embarking on a redesign? What other factors are important for companies to have a pulse on before kicking off a redesign? I’d love to hear a client’s perspective on what you feel they can be done to prepare as well!

Becky manages digital projects from our Boulder, CO, office for clients such as Duke University, Volunteers of America, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Shure.

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