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Re-Designing Webtrade.ie - Improving the Message and User Experience

By Patrick Bates, Wednesday, 21st November 2012 | 0 comments
Filed under: UX/Design, Web Development.

For those returning visitors, you will have noticed a new look to webtrade.ie. Not such a big deal you might think for a website design company to redesign their website - which is true. But as a case study thought it might be a nice idea to share our process and requirements with you to help you when you need your website re-designed.

For those who have read my previous blogs, I place a strong emphasis on improving  the website goals as the most important starting point with any re-design. Visitors to a website generally appreciate:

  • Clear website design
  • that is easy to navigate around
  • and is simple to understand what exactly the company does;

The main reasons for re-designing any website are:

  • Branding of the company has changed;
  • Current website no longer accurately reflects your company;
  • Design tastes have changed since the original design was designed;
  • Improving the user experience.

These are all good reasons for getting your website re-designed. However, you should never lose focus on what the main goals are for a website. That's why the "Improving the user experience" is so important when it comes to a re-design. While we love re-designing websites, the reality is that unless the website re-design better achieves the goal that you are looking to improve on, then it is a waste of money! (I know I shouldn't be saying that to potential customers). That is why we work hard with customers to find out what areas of the website are working and what areas need improvement. It's when that's established that we looked at the "aesthetic" of the new design to best portray the new requirements.

So what about webtrade.ie re-design?

So back to the point of this blog. We were happy with clear navigation around the website, which analytics reports showed was creating a clear "user journey", i.e. website visitors were going to the key pages that we wanted them to go to without too many clicks. This is very important for any design. However, we felt that we were under-selling our message about the quality of our Siternity CMS, which offers free upgrades, full lifetime warranty AND access to free monthly training sessions. These are all areas that are unique to Webtrade and form a key part of the all-in-one package solution we offer to customers.

The other area of weakness we felt was that the "aesthetic" of the website needed to be modernised, and wasn't best show-casing our talented website design teams' skills. To be honest, we have spent the last 3 years sharing the design love with all our customers, that we forgot a little bit of self-pampering!

So goals established. Next we sat down as a group and tried to answer the following questions BEFORE  we even talked about how the new website would look. The questions we asked were:

  • Who's our target customer?
  • What's the key goals of our website?
  • What are the 3 most important things for target customers in order for them to complete the goal(s)?;
  • What customer pain do we solve? How can we prove it?
  • How do we filter non-target customers ( in as polite away as possible!)?

Without giving away too many "state secrets" we felt from feedback from existing customers, that the fact that we offered strong support past the initial web design phase, that they had full control over editing their website and the fact that we have been in a business 14 years with 800+ clients, so we were trust-worthy, were the 3 most important features to make them want to contact us about getting a website design quote. The 14 years experience is important! As a company that is 1 week younger than Google(!), we have been a part of the mainstream design history of the web. We have lots and lots of experience and a full showcase of previous work. These features cover many of the "pain" points of customers who have experienced poor post-website design service from a previous web design company and a lack of inability to update their website themselves.

 It was only when we answered these questions that we involved our website design team.


So now you see the new website. We have made our "3 important things" more prominent on our homepage. We have left aligned a lot of our homepage buttons with 1 larger "call to action" button, which we are testing to see if this leads to a better experience on more devices.

It's important after the re-design to check if it improved our goal completions or not and we'll be making more and more design tweaking changes over the next few months until we get the design working for us as best we can!! Once we have the website layout working in the best way for our customers we will roll out optimised versions for different browser types.

We hope you like the new look and hope some of the advice here will be useful for your next planned re-design. And don't forget to keep Webtrade in mind when you do!