These are notes from a talk by Mark Greenfield titled “Website Redesign Done Right - The First Time” during the HighEdWeb 2015. @Markgr. University at Buffalo.

These are notes from a talk by Mark Greenfield titled "Website Redesign Done Right - The First Time" during the HighEdWeb 2015. @Markgr. University at Buffalo.

The goal is to theoretically never have to do this again

Before You Start

  • Have a good reason. Must be more than you’re bored.
    • Business needs have changed?
    • The site is not meeting goals and objectives
    • Incorporate rebranding.
    • External technology had changed (mobile)
    • Develop Your Web Strategy
      • Not just setting goals
      • Actionable steps to leverage strengths to meet challenges.
      • True strategy identifies the biggest challendes to forward progress and a cohesive approach
      • Leverage Institutional Strength
      • Being ambitious is not a strategy
      • Over come obstacles, not just desires.
      • Strategies need to address unique challenges.
      • Why do you have a website. (first and foremost for prospects)
      • Know the problem you are trying to solve.
      • MUST align with organizational strategy.
    • Web Governance: Decide who gets to decide
    • Revisit UX and AX/a11y: If you work on your AX, you’ll get an improvement to your UX
    • User-Centered Design: Design Philosophy; the end-users needs are first.
    • Find the balance between user needs and business needs.

The Web Redesign Process

  1. Definition and Planning
    • Redesign is nice because there is a lot of available data to work from.
    • Web Analytics: can tell you what, but not why.
    • Deliverables: Strategic Brief, Creative Brief, Functional Brief, Project Charter.
  2. Selection of a CMS
    • Know the problem you are trying to solve.
    • Keep it as simple as possible.
    • Create Use-case scenarios.
    • Don’t rely only on demos, try to use the tool in your own context if possible.
  3. Site Structure
    • Content: audit, inventory, and content creation
    • Information Architecture.
    • Think task-onomy rather than taxonomy
    • Navigation should always move visitors towards their goals.
    • Keep structure close to existing as possible.
    • Address content early in the project
    • Deliverables: Site Blueprints, Wireframes, Card sorting, task flow analysis, personas and journey maps, usability testing.
    • Your goal is to get people to their task as quickly as possible.
  4. Visual Design
    • Translate blueprints and wireframes into design comps based on the creative brief.
    • Design is an iterative process
    • Visual design decisions can be the most contentious.
    • Let the designers design, know what you don’t know!
    • 5 second test
  5. Site Development
    • Development/Beta site
    • Templates are created, then pages are created and populated.
    • Validation early
    • Content migration
  6. Testing
    • Not design testing
    • Iterative testing
    • Technical testing (HTML, js, css, etc.)
  7. Launch and Post Launch Analysis

Thinking about Post Launch

  • The web is not a project; project work vs operational work.
  • Automated testing is useful.
  • 74% of consumers pay attention to spelling and grammar. 59% said they would avoid doing business.
  • Plan beyond the launch. Identify resources for support at the start of any project. If resources aren’t available, scale back the project.
  • Keep it simple from the start.
  • Think re-align instead of redesign.
  • Iterative change is better than the cycle.
  • Maintain the momentum after the project is complete.
  • Formalize your Web Operations
    • Use automated tool to monitor the ongoing quality of the site.
    • A system to manage daily web operations.
    • Set of reports that track the quality over time.

– KS
Web Developer at Benedictine University near Chicago