How to survive a redesign

PDF, 2.2 Mb

How to survive

a redesign

web, app or print

(without drinking heavily during the process.)

Sunday, April 15, 12

Before you start

Think strategically: What are you trying to accomplish with

the new website? App? Design? Who are your users? What are their


Be a project manager: Someone has to think both big

picture and individual pages. Set a schedule. Make it work, but

manage expectations. Get buy-in from all stakeholders (or as many

as you realistically can). Make sure the higher-ups are on your side.

Do your homework: Know your users. Know what they

want, why they want it. Where they look for it. Analyze your traffic.

Which pages are hit first? Which are NEVER hit? Do focus groups or

surveys. Find out what users like, find out what your users hate.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Before you start

Describe your site/app/publication: Brainstorm

about the top 5-10 adjectives that will describe the new look.

• This is a perfect time to bring in stakeholders and let them assist

in the design process.

• Be sure to define how you see each adjective for your designers.

Clarify what you mean by fun, classic, friendly, et al.

• Write your creative brief: A creative brief is used in the

marketing/advertising world to state who you are, who your audience

is, and what you expect from your firm or your internal designers. .

• Caveat: Even if you are designing in-house, this is a worthwhile

exercise. It can help you frame your expectations and eliminate

mission creep.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Before you start

• Do NOT redesign as a democracy: Your PM should

be a benevolent dictator. Ask for input from users and stakeholders,

but one person should be able to make the unquestioned final call.

Be prepared to be firm and massage egos.

• Caveat: If you aren’t that person, find the person who can be that


Know your content: This is an excellent time to rewrite and

reorganize your content both for SEO and for usability. Less is more.

Bullet points can be your friend. Videos, PowerPoints, slideshows.

Think visually.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Before you start

Staging: Outline what HAS to be ready at launch. Build out a

schedule with time to add/fix after launch.

• Finally, plan the fun whiz-bang adds (blogs, photo galleries, new

sections, videos). You can ALWAYS develop more content, but be

sure you have thought through where that content will live while

working on your design concepts.

Avoid paralysis: Avoid deer-in-headlights panic. : ) Remind

the team that post-launch adds are fine. They keep your website

fresh and new.

• Remember: You are eating an elephant. It will be finished, one

small bite at a time.

• Test, test, test, test: Test. Test Mac v. PC. Test all

standard browsers. Use people with different levels of sophistication

with the Internet. Test on mobile/tablet platforms.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Before you start

Go CMS: There is NO reason in the 21st century that your site

or app should be created by hard-coding on Dreamweaver. Find a

Content Management System. It adds flexibility to your site AND

saves time for those doing the updates. Hard coding is nice, but not

everyone can do it quickly -- or at all.

• If your company won’t spring for even WordPress (which is free),

then ask/beg for training on how to code.

Don’t be afraid: Your redesign may not be perfect at launch.

That’s okay. Accept, move on, and remember that there will be a

Phase 2. Google and Amazon make design changes incrementally.

You should, too.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Don’t forget

• Web standards: Section 508 of ADA is the law. You must make

your site accessible. Use tags. Make sure the website can be

increased in size. Don’t use Flash. Be mobile compliant.

• Your patience: Change is difficult. Be patient. Users will

complain that the design has changed. Take a deep breath.

They haven’t been staring at wireframes or mock-ups for months. It

will take a bit for them to find their favorite sections.

• Your users: Listen to the feedback. If there are consistent

complaints a month (or two) into the design, they might be valid


Sunday, April 15, 12

Don’t forget

• Your sense of humor: Laughter will help you survive.

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12

Case Studies

Sunday, April 15, 12 Launch and redesign

Learn from your own news consumption

habits and trust your judgment

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12

Manage expectations for launch

Sunday, April 15, 12

Improve your site in stages

Websites are always changing...

It’s never too late to get it right

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12

Content matters... Build in flexibility

Think about all of your platforms

Sunday, April 15, 12 Original

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12 Final Original

Sunday, April 15, 12 Version II

Sunday, April 15, 12 Concept II

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12 Final Final II

Sunday, April 15, 12

Sunday, April 15, 12


• Examples:

• Tips:


• Tools:

✦ Dropbox (file sharing/collaboration)

Mockingbird (wireframe mock-ups)

Kuler (Adobe Pantone color mixer/palette finder)

Sunday, April 15, 12

How do you eat an elephant?

Very deliberately, bite by bite.

You survive a redesign the same



Sunday, April 15, 12

ISU Case Study

FY13 - 2/29/12

Illinois State Magazine

August Nov February May August

Summer Fall Winter Spring Summer

130005 130006 130007 130008 140001

2/7/12 5/16/12 7/30/12 10/3/12 2/8/13 6 Susan and Dave meet with Stephanie and Annette to plan future issues, especially features

2/15/12 5/24/12 8/7/12 10/11/12 2/18/13 2 Susan shares upcoming story ideas with UMC staff, including video/photo

2/17/12 5/29/12 8/9/12 10/15/12 2/20/13 40 Susan and Dave assign features to writers/designers

4/13/12 7/26/12 10/8/12 1/16/13 4/19/13 2 Writers complete interviews and submit drafts, which are shared with designers and Alumni

4/17/12 7/30/12 10/10/12 1/18/13 4/23/13 3 Designers contact individuals featured to discuss photo options, needs

4/20/12 8/2/12 10/15/12 1/24/13 4/26/13 1 feature rough flow is done to determine page count needs

4/23/12 8/3/12 10/16/12 1/25/13 4/29/13 1 Designers prepare rough layout to give an indication of direction

4/24/12 8/6/12 10/17/12 1/28/13 4/30/13 1 Susan works with Nancy and Linda to get Class Notes done

4/25/12 8/7/12 10/18/12 1/19/13 5/1/13 3 Designers meet for final prep prior to concept meeting

4/30/12 8/9/12 10/23/12 2/1/13 5/7/13 6 Design concept meeting with Alumni and including UMC designers, photo, video, and online staff

5/8/12 8/20/12 10/31/12 2/11/13 5/14/13 2 Class Notes submitted within five days following the design meeting

5/10/12 8/22/12 11/2/12 2/15/13 5/17/13 2 Annette submits copy for Alumni spread; Todd Kober submits copy for Athletics spread

5/14/12 8/24/12 11/6/12 2/15/13 5/22/13 1 class notes/news rough flow done to determine length

5/15/12 8/27/12 11/7/12 2/18/13 5/22/13 7 All additional copy is due (How we met, Legacy, Where are they now, Class Notes profile, etc.)

5/24/12 9/5/12 11/16/12 2/27/13 5/31/13 1 Designers prep layouts for display and discussion

5/25/12 9/6/12 11/19/12 2/18/13 6/3/13 1 Design progress shared with magazine staff

5/29/12 9/7/12 11/20/12 3/1/13 6/4/13 3 Features routed for captions

6/1/12 9/12/12 11/28/12 3/6/13 6/7/13 2 Complete layout routed to Susan for final review

6/5/12 9/14/12 11/30/12 3/8/13 6/11/12 3 Complete layout routed to Alumni with signed print request

6/5/12 9/14/12 11/30/12 3/8/13 6/11/12 0 Annette requests final count (add 500 for campus kiosks)

6/8/12 9/19/12 12/5/12 3/13/13 6/14/13 2 Complete layout to UA VP

6/12/12 9/21/12 12/7/12 3/15/13 6/18/13 3 Complete layout returned to UMC

6/15/12 9/26/12 12/12/11 3/20/13 6/21/13 5 ship dummy and orig. art to Prographics, cc: Mike Groves. Shawn to send address file to

6/22/12 10/3/11 12/19/12 3/27/13 6/28/13 3 Receive 1st color scans and randoms

6/27/12 10/8/12 1/7/13 4/1/13 7/3/13 3 ship color corrections scans and randoms

7/6/12 10/11/12 1/10/13 4/4/13 7/10/13 3 Receive corrected color scans and randoms

7/11/12 10/16/12 1/15/13 4/9/13 7/15/13 3 Ship dummy and final print-ready InDesign PDF to printer; Mail files are due to printer

7/16/12 10/19/12 1/18/13 4/12/13 7/18/13 2 Receive final composite proof from printer

7/18/12 10/23/12 1/22/13 4/16/13 7/22/13 6 Ship composite proof to printer

7/25/12 10/31/12 1/30/13 4/24/13 7/30/13 1 Supply final documents to Brian H for Web production to begin

7/26/12 11/1/12 1/31/13 4/25/13 7/31/13 4 Possible press date; Mary to alert Printing and Mail Services of campus delivery

8/1/12 11/7/12 2/6/13 5/1/13 8/7/13 Project delivers to co-mailing pool

UMC to del 10 samples - Mail Services, 1 to Pres. Bowman, 1 to Erin Minne, and 15 to Alumni Relations, and 5 to 3040 Research and

Sponsored Programs. (Amaris)

On-line version goes live

Illinois State magazine • MAY 2012 issue — 40 pages plus cover

Page make-up as of 2/8/12 (per 2/3 progress meeting)



- CJ




- DJ




pgs 2-5, JH

Where are

they now?


spread 6-7, MM

Greg Gardner/wheelchair

6 pgs, 8-13, CJ


2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


6 pgs, 8-13, CJ

Pierre Woods/model

4 pgs, 14-17, JR


, 18-19, DJ

Allison Kilkenny-OWS/Q&A

6 pgs, 20-25, MM


12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

rotating needs






6 pgs, 22-27, MM

Sean Hayes

spread 26-27, DJ

Alumni Awards

spread 28-29, JR

Alumni Connect

spread 30-31, JR


Class Notes

8 pgs 32-39, JR

24 25

26 27

28 29

30 31 32 33 34 35


we met

Class Notes

pages 30-39, JR


gift ad


Update form

Give, end of

year push


- DJ

Back Cover



- DJ




36 37

38 39

40 IBC



Enhanced visibility of web presence

Illinois State


Visitors are sent to

and received from

the website, increasing

search engine

optimization for both


College and



Visitors are sent to

and received from

the website, increasing

search engine

optimization for both


Giving sites

Through articles

and advertisements,

visitors are exposed

to mulitple giving




Optimized for

Google, Yahoo,

Bing, etc.


Print material

Web ads

Internal & Externall

E-mail signatures

Voice mail

Word of mouth

Google News

Content is feed

into news engine

for discovery by


RSS Feed

Visitors can subscribe

to receive

the articles.

Websites and

other entities can

subscribe as well.

Social sharing

Individuals can

share articles on

their own networks


Twitter, LinkedIN,

Google+, Tumbler,



Social Sharing

Once shared,

other readers can

share the articles

on their networks

as well

Organic traffic that drives visitors to the online magazine

Illinois State Magazine


Intentional traffic that drives visitors to the online magazine

Social Media Post

Univeristy and College post

can be shared amongst

visitors peer groups, driv-

Illinois State


COB and Alumni

edition. E-mailed

monthly to all

alumni, retirees,



Comments placed

on sites highlighting

students and alumni

drive visitors to

magazine (Google


Social Media


Articles can be

posted Weekly

to Facebook,

Twitter, LinkedIN

and others

Social Media

Illinois State

Articles can be

posted Weekly

to Facebook,

Twitter, LinkedIN

and others

Request for proposal

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