What do I have to know before redesign my company’s website?

Rodrigo Seoane, Creative, Barcelona

05 Feb 2017

A checklist to improve the performance of your site, right away.

Usability for web is related to how the content of your brand, is presented to make your visitors achieve their goals easy and frequently at your website or app. Any business can get many benefits improving their user interface.

But hire a specialist can be a scary decision, probably based on previous bad experience(s) with freelancers which blocked you from having a trusted professional to help and guide you trough the new challenges for your business in the internet era. Thinking about that, I made this list. Keep it in mind when you plan your redesign, and also, can use to evaluate what can be improved in your performance online, today.

0 – Think Mobile First.

Mobile isn’t an afterthought, it’s a starting point.

  1. Mobile as an Afterthought is Expensive
  2. Your Customers have already Gone Mobile
  3. Mobile has a Worldwide Reach
  4. First Impression = Mobile Impression
  5. You’ll be Ahead of the Game

1 – Your Website must be easy to navigate

Users are already used to some established layouts and terms

  1. The Logo is on the top left corner and link back to the homepage.
  2. ‘About Us’ & ‘The Company’ are used for the organization’s information.
  3. Navigation Menu is in the same place on each page and directly related to the content.
  4. Something flashing or placed above the logo at the top is usually an ad.
  5. The term “Shopping Cart” is used for items you may want to purchase.
  6. Don’t underestimate the importance of this conventions. Internet is in a more mature stage today and we are getting used on how it works.

2 – Your pages must load fast

Why optimize our sites so important? Simply because no users like to waste time waiting for pages to load. It is extremely frustrating. And it has serious consequences, as shown in these studies:

  1. Yahoo! found that for every 400 ms better performance, its traffic increased by 9% (source).
  2. By cutting 2,2s the landing page of Firefox, Mozilla has increased the number of downloads in 15% to a gain of more than 60 million copies per year (source).
  3. Amazon found that only 100 ms of improvement increase 1% its revenues (source).
  4. In one of his many experiments, Google increased the number of results per page from 10 to 30. This has increased the load time from 0.4s to 0.9s, which decreased by 20% traffic from search (source).
  5. Microsoft showed 2s over latency on Bing decreased revenues by 4.3% (source).
  6. In one experiment, Caelum increased the size of a page from 100kb to 300kb, increasing the number of requests from 12 to 42, which resulted in an increase in loading time from 2s to 6s. The impacts were down 21% in the time users stay on the Site least 28% page views and an 18% drop in conversion rate. (Source)

There are several other published experiments, including a study that shows a relationship between sites and slow fall in blood pressure.

3 – Information must be easy to understand

Users will scan your page fast in search to find something relevant before stop to consume your content. Make sure to feature what they are expecting to see.

And remember 95% of the content on the web is written text. Do a good use of your markup.

  • Headers
  • Links
  • Emphasis
  • Lists
  • Tooltips


The pictures need to deliver relevant content or they will be ignored.

Eye-tracking studies also showed how web visitors react to graphics, such as photographs or diagrams. Users pay close attention to the images that deliver content related to the message, such as photos of a product or a real person (as opposed to a picture of a model).


Video helps you make a memorable, human connection with your viewers. You can use it to show visitors you’re more than just another faceless online operation and relate to them on an emotional level. This pays off in the form of more reach, credibility, and business than sticking to written content alone.

Implications for Content Writers

  1. Place your most important content first. In the opening sentences and paragraphs. Do not start with that nice introduction blah-blah-blah. Go straight to the point. Immediately.
  2. Users are much more likely to roll after bending the first content to see if you can capture their attention or matches their needs.
  3. Do not center the text (readers strongly prefer the left side of the page and will not see the text that is centered).
  4. Keep headers (and links) flush with the left margin, so visitors can see them easily.

4 – Restrictions should not be placed on users

Do not prevent visitors from navigating the Internet the way they want. For example:

Every time a link is opened in a new window the back button is disabled. Approximately 60% of web users use the back button as their primary way of navigation so we must be cautious to force links to open in new windows.

And again, Think Mobile. if you design your site as mobile-first, you’ll be better off than 85% of the top enterprise websites!

Hope you can use this to help your business. Let me know what you think about. And if you want a more detailed study of your performance and more actionable advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch and check my consultant services.