When optimising website design for more conversions at Online Asset Partners we tend to take one of two approaches; “Evolutionary Design” or “Radical Redesign”.
The first, “Evolutionary Design”, involves making small changes over a period of time and running tests to evaluate the effectiveness of each small change. But what happens when your website reaches its maximum potential and no amount of these “tweaks” show any significant improvement?
This is when we may consider another approach, “Radical Redesign”. Sometimes taking a more radical approach and completely starting from scratch is more beneficial than trying to continually optimise something that’s reached its absolute maximum. This is especially the case when considering taking the business in a new direction or a rebranding – but sometimes the decision can become complicated and less straightforward.
Exhausting your current potential
It’s possible for your current website to become as effective as it ever will be despite any tweaks or improvements. Maybe the design or even the technology it was structured on is too outdated. We call this hitting your local maxima (‘Maximum’) – but determining you've reached this point is something you want to be hesitant of.
The task of redesigning your entire site is no small feat, and there is no guarantee that it will play out according to plan. Before making any calls it’s important to isolate what is working rather than trying to completely start from scratch. With a better understanding of your current state you can get a better insight into the people who will be using your site and what they’re trying to accomplish. This will in turn allow you to make those bigger changes with less risk and allow you to create a greater user experience.
How to Decide
If there aren't any major issues with the current structure or technology, evolutionary design should be your first approach.
Online Asset Partners partnered with Your Pharmacy to launch a new website. When first launched, it had basic eCommerce functionality before we took on the “Evolutionary Design” approach. Over each month/quarter we made small but significant changes to the website, to the point where today it competes on par with the industries market leaders.
Not only does the website support their offline presence, it has grown their online presence hugely and now boasts an impressive online content management system that significantly reduces their third party bills. Looking at the graphs below we can see improvement in the website’s ecommerce conversion rate month on month. From going live in September these consistent results have enabled the team and Online Asset Partners to make aggressive marketing decisions to achieve further success for Your Pharmacy in years to come.
The issue some companies can run into with this approach is not having enough data to ensure they're are making the correct decision. If the traffic is too light, the data analysis will not be significant enough for your “tweaks” to be justified. In these cases it may be better to start from scratch with the “Radical Redesign” approach. It comes down to the technical capabilities of the site and its design.
These new terms - “Radical Redesign” and “Evolutionary Design” – are simply a new way for you to think about and approach the optimisation of your website. “Radical Design” is just that – radical! It’s never an easy call to make but can pay off for those websites which have reached their local maxima, and no longer hold any potential for future growth. On the other hand, “Evolutionary Design” - making lots of smaller changes – is our default method and should always be considered first.