When it comes time to redesigning a website, we see many clients who want to dive right into the “fun” parts: color, content, look and feel, etc. In reality though, a website redesign provides an opportunity for your business to audit your current site, revisit your goals, research your target audience, and amplify your brand. With the right approach and a solid website discovery process, a new website should work in your favor to enhance your overall business objectives.
A website redesign can require a large investment of time, money and resources. We know because we did it not too long ago.
To make this process easier for you, we created a list of 21 website discovery questions to ask when initiating a website redesign.
Start by thinking big. Remove yourself from the details and the pretty examples you’ve found, and come back to the basics and logistics of your business:
1. Why do you want a new website?
2. What’s the primary purpose of the new website?
3. Who is your primary audience?
4. What SMART goals will indicate success in making an investment in a new website?
5. Who will be responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on the new website design?
6. Who will have final approval for the website prior to launching?
These questions play a huge role in the website discovery phase as they serve as a method for saying “yes” or “no” to specific features and functions on the new site. By getting clear and staying true to the answers of these questions, you can intentionally create a very purposeful new website.
When you’re ready to dive into the design of a new website, we suggest starting by examining the current state of your site:
7. What is and isn’t working about your current website?
8. What do you like and dislike about your current site?
9. Walk through your current site navigation. What stays and what goes?
10. What features on your website pertain specifically to your brand?
Now, seek precedent for design and functionality that works best for your business or industry:
11. Identify 3-5 websites you love. What do you like about the style, features and functionality?
12. What elements do you like and dislike about your top three competitors’ websites?
And finally, dive deep into the ideal functionality of your site, and evaluate your needs:
13. What functions are absolutely necessary for your new site?
14. Thinking about things like chat functions, maps, multiple languages, events calendars, member log-ins, blog, forms, etc., what are your must haves, should haves, could haves, and won’t haves?
Now that you’ve answered the “why” behind redesigning your website and examined the functionality, you’re ready to start making content decisions. Get really clear on exactly what your target audience needs to see and experience, so that your website can be concise and compelling for new and current customers:
15. What key pieces of info should be available on every single page of your website?
16. What do you want newcomers to know or do on your site?
17. What do you want current customers to know or do on your site?
18. Do you want automated emails to be triggered by actions that prospects/customers take on your website?
19. What content will you continue to publish after launching the site?
20. Do you want to create ebooks, whitepapers, and other resources placed behind a form?
21. Do you have photos and visuals that can be used for commercial purposes or should you budget for stock or custom photography?
Have you been contemplating a website redesign? If so, we’d love to hear from you and see if there’s anything we can do to help. We look forward to hearing your story!