Going through a website overhaul is a LOT of work. No one really tells you about what to expect when you decide one day that what you’ve got goin’ on just won’t cut it anymore. So what the heck happens when you decide that you need an overhaul, a rebrand. Let me preface this post in telling you that when I’m talking about a rebrand, I’m talking about the whole shebang: logo, website, blog, identity, fonts, colors, the whole nine yards. I learned a lot of lessons when I hired the incredible, Jen Olmstead to redesign my corner on the web and I’m sharing my FIVE biggest takeaways here! (Lucky you!)
1.) Have a Clear Vision:
It’s so important if you’re going to be investing thousands of dollars into a new identity, that you have a clear vision that you can communicate to your designer! While I love to call Jen a “total wizard,” she had to understand my vision (which meant I had to be able to communicate it to her!) Vagueness is not helpful when it comes to your vision! You need to have a mission for your new webspace and then ask yourself if every decision is conducive to the main goal of your identity! If you know the vision well, it will become a lot easier to answer the questions when it comes to design.
2.) Narrow the Scope:
It’s really easy to have too many ideas when going into a rebrand, so being able to communicate your greatest priorities is so critical. A lot of times we want all of the bells and whistles but when we add them in, it can create a confusing web presence or a website that isn’t directional! When you hire a good designer, they will lead you through the process of taking your best ideas and making them better (while pitching the “not so good” ones!) We have a tendency to overcomplicate things but the ease of use for your website should be numero uno! You want your mom to be able to navigate it without asking a lot of questions, so ask yourself, “WWMD?” What would my mom do?
3.) Keep it Directional:
Where do you want people to go on your site? Lead them there! What do you want them to do on each page? Tell them. What’s your main goal of your site? Get them there as efficiently you can! You never want to have a “dead end” on your website or a place where it just stops and your user is left wondering, “what’s next?” When we created my new site we literally mapped things out based on who the user was and the path we wanted them to take through the site, making sure that there was never a dead end or a stopping point. Why? Because we get distracted easily enough as it is, if we aren’t told what to do, we will likely click out and hop back onto Facebook! Lead your users through it, tell them what to do, how to navigate, and where to go!
4.) Have the Dream User in Mind:
A lot of times we design for us. We think about what we want instead of focusing on what we want our dream user to experience! You want to make sure that no matter who ends up on your website, they can find what they are looking for quickly and simply! Having really clear menus, laying things out in a way that will point them to what they want, and making sure you’re considering your main audience (and all facets of your users!) For me, we had a few dream users: brides looking for a photographer, business owners looking for courses, podcast listeners seeking the show notes, and readers wanting inspiration! We wanted to make sure each of those categories were easy to find and navigate!
5.) Make it YOU! Don’t shy away:
Lean into the fact that your space should NOT look like anyone else’s! You are unique, your website should speak to your uniqueness. Stop looking at what everyone else in your industry is doing and start celebrating the things that make you different, memorable, especially when you happen to work in highly saturated industries and markets. Chances are your product or service won’t set you a part enough, YOU can be the secret sauce that sucks people in and leaves them excited to see what’s next! When you finally get confident and bold enough to say, “This is me! This website is an extension of me!” the magic happens. Find your mac and cheese and share that with the world, it will make you stand out and be memorable!
Is a rebrand in your future for the New Year?