It's the year 2014 and many companies are finally taking the time and energy to update and redesign their website. Yet they are still making these common fails when it comes to redesigning their websites. Here's how you can learn from these mistakes and avoid these fails yourself.
Jennifer: Happy Friday everyone and welcome back to a very special edition of Friday Fails. My name is Jennifer and I have a very special guest with me today. I'm very excited to have Tommy, Director of Operations here at LyntonWeb!
So this week we are going to dig into one of Tommy's areas of expertise, and that is website redesign. In particular, fails that people make when redesigning their website. There's almost too many to count!
So, we're going to talk about the top 3 fails that we've recently seen with companies that are redesigning their websites:
Fail #1: Ignoring Mobile
Jennifer: So one of the first fails we see are companies that when they are redesigning their website, they are ignoring the whole mobile aspect of it. Tell us why that would be a fail.
Tommy: You know it's just an absolute shame. Companies spend a lot of money and put a lot of energy into redesigning their website. It's the year 2014. You go, you hit the website on your mobile phone and it doesn't scale. Somebody dropped the ball and completely didn't even think "Oh ya! Over half of our users are probably going to hit our website using mobile. So we're going to just completely ignore those users and we're going to do it the same way we've always done it for the last 10 or 15 years." It's an utter shame.
Jennifer: And they are ignoring responsive websites!
Tommy: You don't have to do a website and then a mobile website. You do 1 website that's designed as responsive, you hit the website on your phone, and it scales down to your browser size. It makes it easy for your users to scroll through it and easily find what they want. And it scales to the size of the screen. So there's none of this straining and trying to stretch the screen to see what it means. And let's try and see if we can actually pinpoint that link. It doesn't happen.
Fail #2: Cluttered Home Page
Jennifer: So another fail that we see are companies that actually try to cram too much information right on the homepage. They've got CTAs and pop ups and just crap everywhere. Why is that a fail?
Tommy: It's a fail for multiple reasons. First, your users just get confused. You overload them. Imagine walking into a room and being called from a bunch of different locations. Hey! Hey! Hey! You don't know who to talk to and you don't know where to go. The other thing is the whole concept of "above the fold" is gone. Since so many people browse the web on mobile, they are used to hitting a site and scrolling through it. Long pages are in style now. So this whole "I have to get everything above the fold and the user has to see it right when they load up my page or they are never going to see it" is an old way of thinking. It's not the way that users browse the web.
Jennifer: It's like when I'm scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. I don't look at the first thing. I'm scrolling for days! I can't even get to sleep!
Tommy: Most users can tell that the website keeps going and that there's more information. So trying to cram everything into this top area is a complete and utter fail.
Jennifer: So above the fold is dead people! Get over it!
Fail #3: Ignoring Analytics
Jennifer: So one of our final fails that we see with people and companies that are redesigning their websites are they are choosing to ignore analytics in the process of redesigning their website. Why is that a fail?
Tommy: Ok, you have analytics and webmaster tools, you have a plethora of information. You can see what your users do when they hit your current site. What pages do they like? What pages do they not like? What is their flow when they come through? What keywords? To have all of this information right at your fingertips and then just completely ignore it makes no sense in the world.
Jennifer: You're ignoring what their behavior is!
Tommy: You're bypassing a goldmine. You're essentially walking right past it. Don't ignore Google!
Jennifer: So basically, take advantage of all the analytics you have to offer and use that information when you're redesigning your website! It's pretty simple. Just put it through the whole process, and it's an important part of the process.
Tommy: Ya and the great part is that the analytics is there. It's not going to cost you anything extra to go look at the analytics.
Jennifer: Just a little bit of time and extra work, but it's worth it in the long run.
Jennifer: Alright Tommy, thank you so much for joining us, thanks for teaching us about how to fix these website redesign fails. Stay tuned next week for another edition of Friday Fails!