As the internet continues to evolve and mature, most brands find themselves in need of a "revamped" website. Whether it is to adapt to a new modernized look and feel, to accommodate users on their mobile and tablet devices, or to reflect a complete rebranding of the company. That being said, a lot of businesses are apprehensive before starting a website redesign-and for obvious reasons. Once you've established a digital presence with your audience, you don't want to disrupt their familiarity and adversely impact the impression that they have of your brand. For that reason alone, it's essential that your redesign offers an improved experience to your users. To better understand some key elements that are important to a website redesign, we spoke with some talented members of our design team here at Blue Fountain Media. Our Head of Design and Art Directors shared with us some of their favorite website redesigns across many different industries and highlighted the things they liked most about these sites.
While still in its beta stages, the new website for The Met has made dramatic improvements to the design and navigation. They have decided to go with a more simplified navigation, combining some options to eliminate the unnecessary ones, and emphasizing their artwork through large imagery rather than the original version which focused more on the branding of The Met itself. Now the site has contrasting colors to separate the background from the content and help the art stand out. Also, the design layout takes up much more space, giving each page some room to breathe.
The redesigned website is responsive, which is a great tool for tourists and visitors, and it highlights all three of The Met venues as well. They included a nice balance of educational content, with more entertainment and leisure elements, most notably making their events section much easier to digest and understand. Deeper content surrounding exhibitions and specific pieces are suggested throughout your time on the site, keeping you engaged and interested during your whole visit. Through this visually appealing yet simplified redesign, The Met makes sure that, though you may find yourself lost in the art, you won't get lost finding whatever resources you need on their website. -Tatyana Khamdamova, Head of Design at Blue Fountain Media
Uber's latest version of their website is focused on branding more than ever. This new look and feel is a lot friendlier, and is overall a huge departure from their old site. Prior to the website redeisgn, the Uber website tried to evoke a feeling of luxury and presented their services in a way that highlighted prestige. Now, the entire site tells a real story. Instead of highlighting an elite experience, the new site focuses on the people, drivers, and customers behind the brand.
From a design perspective, the color scheme used throughout the site allows for a lot of flexibility as the brand moves forward. The use of strong visuals helps to communicate their message to their users on a deeper level, showing in some ways the emotional experience associated with using their services. Before their redesign, Uber was already a successful and popular business, but they had to stay relevant. Taking this drastic leap to make a change that tells users more about their brand was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. -Dennis Mirovsky, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Service King came to Blue Fountain Media in need of a website redesign that would match the professional image they wanted their brand to project online. Their original site was filled with a lot of information detailing their service offerings, as well as navigation options that lead to a number of external sites. However, it made it very difficult for visitors to accomplish a seemingly easy navigation option of finding a shop location nearest to them.
Our design team joined forces to find the best way to modernize the website, while still providing audiences with necessary information. This allowed Service King to tell customers what they do and the services they provide, while updating their online image. The old site was very SEO friendly, and it was important for the designers not to lose any of the rankings that the website already had. They created a design that solved all of the apparent issues, while still maintaining the website's search engine standings. They took the time to interview actual users of the site to see what their needs were, and designed a website to fit those needs. The location search, one of the most important features, became the first thing visitors see when they come to the homepage. Audiences are able "Find a Center Near You" immediately, rather than having to search the whole site before searching for an actual center. -Liya Osepaishvili, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Since its redesign last year, the entire user-interface on the Netflix website is incredibly improved across the board. In the past, Netflix offered a carousel format on the homepage, which from a usability standpoint wasn't the best because of how easy it was to accidentally click on an item you didn't intend to. The new and improved design requires the user to actually click where they want to go, so there's less room for error when customers are trying to search to find something to watch.
The entire feel of the site is very organized-the breakdown by section, genre, etc. makes it easy for even the most inexperienced of Netflix customers to find what they're looking for. Even if you're unfamiliar with the website, you know where to go because of how intuitive the design is. One feature in particular that I like is that once you click on an actual show or movie, you get an entire wealth of information about the program and a variety of options related to that particular selection. You can see a preview, learn more information about the show, or view related shows, amongst many other things. Ultimately, the entire platform is a very clean design, and it's quite simple to digest the content. The big imagery, simplistic theme, and clear calls-to-action make for a great user-experience. -Jeremy Howell, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
As a big fan of the Metopera myself, seeing the new and improved website they've created has been exciting. The old website was difficult to navigate, lacked information, and was tough to find what you were looking for whether it was tickets or a calendar of events. Surprisingly, despite all of the great images they had at their disposal, there weren't many on their website up until now.
The redesign has completely changed the digital presence of the Metropolitan Opera. The strong photography focus on the website now is incredibly powerful-all visuals are vivid and colorful. The new navigation is easy to use and allows you to narrow down your options to effectively find just what you're looking for in terms of shows. Each page is a little different from the next and really tells a complete story. Overall, the redesign was beautifully done and is very intuitive--a functional yet aesthetically-pleasing design! -Liya Osepaishvili, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Nuna came to Blue Fountain Media in need of a new website that showcased their baby products in a unique and professional way that was different from other brands in their industry. Our designers not only redid their website to improve the aesthetics, but the overall ecommerce functionality of the site to benefit the online growth of their business.
Just as their products are designed for longevity, Nuna already had a solid branding foundation and great visual resources from their advertising. They wanted to bring that look and feel to a new and responsive website. We helped them accomplish this through the use of lifestyle imagery, accompanied by detailed information surrounding each product that they offer. The website balances design with a lot of information by showcasing large and clear imagery alongside detailed manuals for each product. We were able to assign a specific color to each product per their existing branding, making the purchasing process a very visual experience for online customers. When they choose any product from the main navigation, they are able to see all information about this product, purchase this product, and also purchase any accessories for this product from the same page. Overall, this makes it as easy as possible for the customers to find everything they are looking for on the website. -Irina Likhashkina, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Users visit the NHL website to access scores, player information, or to find out the latest news from their favorite teams. The NHL's recent website redesign takes a content-heavy site and makes it incredibly easy to navigate and find what you're looking for. The score section at the top of the page was modernized and expanded---allowing people to find what they're looking for right when they land on the page.
In terms of the design itself, all of the UI elements are neutral colored, which was a great decision. This makes it easy to incorporate each individual team's logo and branding without being overly distracting or seemingly "messy." Ultimately, this redesign focused on usability. Organizing the site by keeping the most popular resources at the top of the page makes it simple for fans to quickly access the information most important to them on NHL.com -Jeremy Howell, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Zoc Doc is an amazing online platform that helps you search for doctors of differing specialties in your area that take your insurance. When looking at the original design, you would think that the website was catered towards the doctors rather than the patients. It had a very sterile look with a standard medical layout that was precise and rigid. However, now the website almost has the look of a lifestyle brand, using humor to highlight the realistic situations you might find yourself in when you would need a doctor at a moment's notice.
The redesign features their new branding, including a new logo and much brighter colors, while still keeping the core functionality of the old site the same (a few questions to get you started when you land on the site). After you enter your information in the search you get to see all of the doctors in your area right away, as well as what their schedules look like today, or on a specified date in the future. Each doctor's profile is filled with pictures, reviews, and rankings to help you make an educated decision. This trendy website redesign makes seeking medical attention, a little more appealing. -Irina Likhashkina, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
The Churchill Living website redesign was a complete rebranding, but wasn't a complete departure from what they originally had-this new site echoed the original site in a lot of ways. The brand wanted to share the experience of Churchill and the entire lifestyle that they're associated with, however without the use of people in their photos. By including real imagery that appropriately represented their services, the details can speak to the audience effectively. The new color scheme (almost an "aqua" color) was the right choice for displaying a high-end brand that was still so approachable from the customer perspective.
While working on this website redesign, our team aimed to keep all of the Churchill businesses connected while still allowing them to hold their own identities in a way that made sense on their corporate website. The redesign resulted in a site with a much more modern look and feel, while still boasting a feeling of simplicity and elegance. -Dennis Mirovsky, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media
Website redesigns are essential in order to effectively reach your audience over time and to continue providing the best user-experience possible. Keep in mind the needs of your customers and the objectives for your brand as you develop your redesign strategy. Whether you're making a few tweaks to your site, or doing a completely different look and feel from your previous site, it's important you use best practices and keep the goal of your project top of mind.