Web Site Creative, Part I: Four Steps for a Successful Web Site Redesign
When planning a Web site redesign, a definitive plan can make the process easier. Debbie Hess, Internet marketing director for multititle gift and apparel cataloger Norm Thompson Outfitters, shared her step-by-step plan for Norm Thompson’s recent multi-site redesign process during a session at the Internet Retailer conference held last week in Chicago.
1. Seek first to understand. Because of the many areas of an e-commerce site that can be affected by a redesign, it’s important to know how your current Web site works in explicit detail, Hess said. Before the company’s recent redesign, Hess consulted internal stakeholders familiar with the inner workings of the site, and considered industry stats, benchmarks, surveys and customer feedback to determine which areas of Norm Thompson’s sites needed the most attention.
2. Give ’em what they want. “Customer perception is the only thing that matters,” Hess said. Analyze customer feedback and satisfaction to determine which proposed changes will have the most impact, either positively or negatively.
3. Create a steering committee. To control the redesign process, keep the project focused and analyze results, Norm Thompson formed a steering committee consisting of internal executives, the vendors who implemented the redesign, as well as those vendors who were affected by it, Hess said. An experienced team with a wide area of expertise assured that the company executed the best possible plan, she noted.
4. Manage the execution process. Hess noted than Norm Thompson implemented a controlled execution process that rolled out in phases. Because the holidays fell in the middle of the new site rollout, Hess and her team wanted to make sure than no changes were being made while the heaviest traffic was coming to the site. Additionally, she said her team specifically watched the path to the purchase pages, and communicated with internal stakeholders about the progress of each phase of the redesign.