If it’s time to redesign the website your company created in 2005, consider this: Things have changed in the last decade, and the way you approach your redesign should change as well.
Back in 2005, most users arrived at your websites by typing your site’s address. This took them straight to the home page. Because of that reality, you and your staff probably spent an inordinate amount of time developing the home page’s content and appearance. It was THE page–the virtual front door to your company–and everyone wanted it to be a grand and gracious entrance.
Today, thanks to links, tweets, shares and web searches, fewer and fewer website visitors land on home pages. If your website was a house, they’d be coming in through windows, the back and side doors, the garage, even down the chimney. There’s no telling where they will land first. Many major companies are seeing this website trend–the New York Times for one. In the last two years, its homepage traffic has declined more than 50 percent.
It’s the result of the shift from pull media to push media. A home page is pull media–it relies on a user to actively request it. Push media, by contrast, are videos, stories and photos that come to us through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube and other social media.
That’s why we think it is time to worry less about the home page, although it is important and should look good, and more time about your total website, paying particular attention to making navigation easy and content both valuable and complete. You must make it easy for people to find what they need when they get to your website and you must make sure that the information they need is on your site.
Look at every page and pretend it is the only one a user will see. Then ask, “What do I want them to see and what do they need? A way to respond? A call to action?”
Your website is a reflection of your company. When you design a clean, straightforward site with navigation so easy your toddler or grandmother could use it, it is a way of showing your company cares about its customers and knows how to create a good product.
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