SIDEBAR: When to redesign a Web site

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How do you know when it's time to redesign your Web site? "How do you know when you're out of shape?" counters Paul Marobella, senior media consultant for I3. "Do you stand in front of the mirror naked or do you simply feel like something's wrong?"

Notwithstanding the "feel" factor, Web developers agree there are certain telltale signs to indicate a Web site needs a tuneup. Following are a few key indicators:

  • The wear-out factor. People are tired of your site. The number of visitors or the number of repeat visitors is off. A simple rule of thumb: If people revisit your site often, redesign more frequently than if the average person comes back every six months, says Tig Tillinghast, director of Interactive for Anderson & Lembke's San Francisco office.

  • Objectives not met. If revenue or cost objectives are not being met, for example, you may need to go back to the drawing board.

  • Customer feedback. Customers tell you the site is difficult to use or they're simply not getting your message.

  • Technology advances. Are you missing the boat technologically and does your audience care? If you answer yes to both questions, you probably want to update your site.

  • Corporate image changes. A U.S. company goes global; a media company wants to play up its conferences. You site may need to be revamped to reflect your new market position.
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