I am assisting with a website redesign for my organization. The project sort of fell onto my desk after some of my professional goals for the year were tied to improving the organization’s use of Google Analytics. Collecting data from Google Analytics is relatively new for my company, which I find extremely ironic since we are an educational institution. Education has been a data rich environment for decades.
We haven’t set any clear goals for the new site, nor have we discussed how we’ll measure success. I think our primary motive is that we have a lot of out dated information. According to usertesting.com, “’It’s been a while’ is not a reason to redesign a site.” Oops! I guess we missed this memo.
Another issue I am experiencing is that colleagues seem to forget that the website is for our customers, not for them. The user experience has taken a back seat. People aren’t interested in buyer personas or customer needs; they are really just worried if their department is going to get real estate on the homepage. It all needs to be turned upside down. We need to put the customer first! We shouldn’t be making assumptions or educated guesses. We need some data: qualitative and quantitative to drive this process. We need to make sure that if we spend all of this time and energy on redesigning (which currently has 800+ pages) that we get it right. It needs to be user-centric.
Is it possible to have data-driven and design? This question seems to be popping up a bunch this semester. Can you have both science and art? Can I convince the seven divisions in my organization that data driven design is the best approach? Well, I am going to try. Thegood.com provides some strong arguing points:
- Changes are informed by insight pulled from measurable data, including the actual clicks and movements of your site’s visitors
- Results of changes are objectively and quickly determined
- Priorities are easily determined (according to potential impact)
- Website redesign costs are typically lower (less waste)
- ROI is typically higher (more success)
- Data-driven design isn’t the panacea for all conversion rate optimization ills, but it’s certainly part of a high-performing, systematic way of getting better results from your ecommerce efforts
I’m going to give it a try. Wish me luck!
“Developing a Data-Driven Website Redesign Strategy.” UserTesting, www.usertesting.com/blog/developing-data-driven-website-redesign-strategy.
MacDonald, Jon. “How to Ensure a Winning Website Redesign (with Data-Driven Design).” The Good, thegood.com/insights/website-redesign-data-driven-design/.