Paul's Blog Various thoughts on design & business

You may have seen from my last article, Bad web design must be contagious, that there are many sites out there that are just plain awful. However, there are probably even more sites out there that are just average.

An average website may look good, clean and presentable, it may offer all the important information about your company or product that is needed, and yet it remains virtually ineffective, and eventually you may start getting the feeling that your site has become stale and stagnant. So how do we tell when this time has come?

The first and most obvious sign is when you’re looking at your website one day and catch yourself thinking ‘Goodness, does nothing ever change.’ One’s natural reaction after thinking this is to brush it off, after all, you’re probably just too used to it. There is truth in this. We certainly do grow accustomed to our own website, however, it should also be a warning flag that we need to take notice of. I have found that these thoughts often come when we are becoming frustrated with our website’s lack of ability to bear the fruit that we anticipated. These thoughts are often as a result of a sub conscious comparison that takes place between the websites we see out there and our own. Times change, styles morph, technologies progress and so it is often the case that the reason you get the feeling that your site is not all it used to be, is simply because while the rest of the internet is moving on, your site has gotten stuck.

When last did you receive a comment or compliment on your website? If a client has never complimented you on some aspect of your website then possibly you chose the wrong designer to design your website in the first place. However, if you have had compliments in the past, then the question you need to ask is when last you received such a compliment. Ongoing feedback from a website is often a very good indication of how effective it still is.

One of the most classic ways you can tell, is by how easily you refer people to your website. Have you ever hesitated when asked by someone to see a list of your services, and ended up emailing them an eBrochure or pdf rather than sending them to your website? Have you ever made an excuse about the state of your site when handing a potential client your business card, or told them that your new site is coming soon, when in fact it is not?

The last area that needs mention here is the overall success of your website. The first question you need to ask is what the main objective for your website is. You may have a website to attract new clients, to sell products online, or just to serve as an easily accessible online brochure to showcase your products. Whatever the reason, now is a good time to take a good hard look at the last 6 months and assess how well your site has fulfilled that objective. If it has fallen short of your expectations then perhaps your site has not been designed in such a way as to assist in the fulfillment of that objective.

So if your site just looks old and familiar to you, or you’ve not had any positive feedback about your website in a while, or if it’s so bad that you’re too embarrassed to refer people to it, then it’s not surprising that it has not been yielding the results that you anticipated. So before wasting any more money on hosting a site that is dull, stale and unproductive, perhaps you should consider the fact that it is time for a redesign. Why don't you take a look at some of my most recent website designs and compare them with your current website. Are you feeling that dissatisfied itch? - then get in touch and lets fix your problem!

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Paul Russell is a freelance graphic designer who has been designing for screen and print for over a decade. His design expertise has included the creation of corporate identity, branding, design of corporate stationery, portfolios, profiles, brochures, multimedia presentations, posters, signs and most importantly, websites.
South Africa
076 194 4357