Redesign: The Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them


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Redesign: The Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. REDESIGN: THE PITFALLS AND PERILS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM Jeff Wisniewski [email_address] Computers in Libraries 2009
  2. 3. BAD REASONS TO REDESIGN <ul><li>It’s been X months/years since we redesigned </li></ul><ul><li>The boss says I have to </li></ul><ul><li>I’m boooooored with the site </li></ul>
  3. 4. GOOD REASONS TO REDESIGN <ul><li>When your navigation is dysfunctional </li></ul><ul><li>When your site doesn’t scale </li></ul><ul><li>When your site is difficult to update </li></ul><ul><li>When your code is hopelessly, cough cough, sick </li></ul><ul><li>When your site has low usability </li></ul><ul><li>When it is not performing based on your sites’ goals/objectives (you do have those, right?) </li></ul>
  4. 5. REDEVELOP VS REDESIGN <ul><li>Redevelop= triple bypass </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign= cosmetic surgery </li></ul>
  5. 6. COST COMPARISON Cost to you Cost to user Redesign Low Low Redevelop High High
  6. 7. AMAZON: 2000
  7. 8. AMAZON: 2009
  8. 9. THIS IDEA ISN’T EXACTLY NEW… <ul><li>The Quiet Death of the Major Re-Launch </li></ul><ul><li>By Jared M. Spool </li></ul><ul><li>Originally published: May 20, 2003 </li></ul>
  9. 10. USERS DISLIKE REDESIGNS…ALOT <ul><li>Facebook anti-redesign group has 1.7 million members. </li></ul><ul><li> redesign drew over 2,000 comments often strongly negative. </li></ul><ul><li>The Guardian,, and the BBC also transformed themselves recently, with ‘robust’ opinion voiced on each. </li></ul>
  10. 11. CAVEATS <ul><li>Beware the vocal majority? </li></ul><ul><li>Be evidence based…your new sites tests better, right? </li></ul>
  11. 12. REDESIGN AND THE FIVE STAGES OF USER GRIEF <ul><li>Denial : “Why did you change it? I was always able to find what I needed!” </li></ul><ul><li>Anger : “You have rendered the site useless and I will never use it again!” </li></ul><ul><li>Bargaining : “If you could just revert back to the OLD ejournal page that would be great!” </li></ul><ul><li>Depression : “I have no idea what I’m going to do now…” </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance : “While I dislike the design I was able to find the catalog link quite easily…” </li></ul>
  12. 13. DO WE REALLY HATE TO REDESIGN? <ul><li>Maintenance = Boring </li></ul>Redesign = Exciting
  13. 14. Happiness Time You Users Launch
  14. 15. Time until “redesign” (months) 12 0 6 amount of maintenance performed a lot pretty much none
  15. 16. PITFALL: THINKING INSIDE THE BOX <ul><ul><li>Is a traditional “page-based model” best? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. DISCOVERY
  17. 18. PITFALL: NOT KNOWING ENOUGH ABOUT YOUR CURRENT SITE BEFORE YOU BEGIN <ul><li>Look at where people are going in the site, where they're NOT going, what pages they enter into and what pages they leave from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clicky </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review past usability studies </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s been a while do one NOW </li></ul><ul><li>TIP: find and document your current page rank </li></ul>
  18. 19. PITFALL: PROCEEDING WITHOUT CONSENSUS ON GOALS AKA BUY-IN <ul><li>Investing time reaching consensus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The need for a change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What needs to be changed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What the desired outcomes are </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data is awfully helpful here </li></ul>
  19. 20. TWO TIPS ON GENERATING BUY-IN <ul><li>Show your director/manager what cool things other libraries are doing </li></ul><ul><li>Show him or her data indicating that your site is not functioning well </li></ul>
  20. 21. PITFALL: TRYING TO REACH TOO MUCH CONSENSUS <ul><li>Design by committee=death </li></ul><ul><li>Data + evidence-based practice=harmony and world peace </li></ul>
  21. 22. PITFALL: BEING AN EXPERT <ul><li>Define constituencies and INCLUDE them in the process </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians ARE users of the site but they’re also information EXPERTS with mad skills </li></ul>
  22. 23. PLANNING
  23. 24. <ul><li>“ Spend your money where the water is” </li></ul><ul><li>Know where your water is! </li></ul>
  24. 25. PITFALL <ul><li>Spending too much time “designing” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I'm going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than a billion pages on the web. Surely there's one that you can start with? “ </li></ul><ul><li>-Seth Godin </li></ul>
  25. 26. LOOK HERE <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  26. 27. PITFALL <ul><li>Failing to account for assessment time & effort </li></ul>
  27. 28. PITFALL <ul><li>Looking at only other library sites </li></ul>
  28. 29. PITFALL: NOT HAVING SMART GOALS FOR THE REDESIGN <ul><li>S pecific </li></ul><ul><li>M easurable </li></ul><ul><li>A ttainable </li></ul><ul><li>R ealistic </li></ul><ul><li>T imely </li></ul>
  29. 30. EXAMPLE GOALS <ul><li>Increase Google page rank and search result exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Improve overall site usability </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable increase in use of ejournal finder </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable decrease in content update lag times </li></ul><ul><li>Show increase in user engagement as measured by number of blog comments </li></ul>
  30. 31. PITFALL: FAILING TO COMMUNICATE ENOUGH <ul><li>Consider a redesign blog or wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Manage expectations </li></ul>
  31. 33. EXECUTION
  32. 34. PITFALL: COMMUNICATING TOO MUCH <ul><li>Redesign by committee is rarely pretty (hey that rhymes!) </li></ul><ul><li>Look to evidence to short circuit tedious discussions </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  33. 35. PITFALL: Not providing users a clear path <ul><li>Define the primary functions of your site and make sure these paths are clear </li></ul>
  34. 37. PITFALL <ul><li>Reinventing the wheel </li></ul><ul><li>from JavaScripts to CSS…chances are it’s been done already </li></ul>
  35. 38. PERFECTION PARALYSIS <ul><li>Get it out of the door already! </li></ul>
  36. 39. WHERE TO SPEND TIME, MONEY AND EFFORT <ul><li>Remarkable content </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement tools </li></ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul>
  37. 40. REMARKABLE CONTENT <ul><li>You have a staff full of experts! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course based guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White papers: copyright, foreclosure resources, how to get content onto your iPod </li></ul></ul>
  38. 41. REMARKABLE TOOLS <ul><li>Next gen opac </li></ul><ul><li>Federated search </li></ul><ul><li>Ejournal finder </li></ul><ul><li>Photo tagger </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment calculator </li></ul>
  39. 42. REMARKABLE CONTENT… <ul><li>… is WELL WRITTEN content </li></ul><ul><li>Cut and paste </li></ul><ul><li>Invest time in rewriting content </li></ul>
  40. 43. PITFALL <ul><li>Not designing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind </li></ul><ul><ul><li>URL structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simple URLs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper and consistent user of structural HTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li><h1> <h2> <h3> etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive <alt> tags </li></ul></ul>
  41. 44. MORE SEO <ul><li>Submit a sitemap to Google after your redesign </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask Google to remove outdate/removed/old content from its index: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Site>Tools>Remove URLs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  42. 45. PITFALL <ul><li>Not designing with Social Media Optimization (SMO) in mind </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social bookmark links: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tag your pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redesign with user generated content in mind </li></ul></ul>
  43. 46. PITFALL <ul><li>Moving and/or eliminating good content </li></ul><ul><li>… the whole baby and bathwater thing </li></ul><ul><li>Do page and keyword analyses…Google Analytics, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Do server side redirects </li></ul>
  44. 47. DON’T FORGET TO… <ul><li>Update your robots.txt file </li></ul><ul><li>Update your analytics definitions, paths, groups, etc. </li></ul>
  46. 49. PITFALL <ul><li>Not planning beyond the redesign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mmmmmmm….that’s FRESH! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move from macro redesign to micro changes </li></ul>