12 Valuable Lessons on Redesigns, Replatforming & Migrations

By Jonathon Knepper

If you asked me 1000+ days ago if I thought I would consistently have some redesign, replatform, or migration on my to-do board I would have laughed. Not because redesigns make me laugh like Bill #Sebald stories, but because I “left” design for content and marketing back in 2011.

Even though I’m not a designer, I still get a lot of joy out of redesigns. They’re exciting, but can easily become a nightmare.

I’ve talked to a number of peers over the years and found that redesigns (and the lot) are a big challenge. Most had some negative experience with this. Agency friends talked about redesigns coming and going. And in-house friends were all too familiar with that one time they redesigned, or tried to at least (usually followed by eye rolls, fearful faces, etc.).

Site updates are a fact of life, especially if you work in an agency and/or plan on staying in the digital space for a while. That’s why we wanted to share some of our most important lessons learned.

Disclaimer: This is not a checklist

There are some truly incredible migration, redesign, and similar checklists out there, and I encourage you/your team to start your own. I’ll link to a few from my resource archive at the end of this post, and I’ll even throw in Greenlane’s tech-SEO list.

There’s a lot of value in these checklists, but we know our work is more than following a list of items. The gold comes from what we discover via the IFTTT (if this, then that) approach. The lessons listed below are all the things we learned that couldn’t be captured in a list.

What Do These Terms Mean?

Let’s take a step back and get to know the language, because this is where it starts to get muddied. It’s very easy to use “redesign”, “replatform”, and “migration” interchangeably, but it’s not that simple.

It’s important to confirm that the terminology your team uses matches the scenario you have in mind. Otherwise you could end up with wicked gaps in the estimated resources required and/or even worse, this could result in organic visibility getting crushed overnight. By default, some terms may encompass others. For example, a replatform generally includes some form of visual redesign since you’re switching to a brand new software.

The most important differences to be aware of are:

Replatform – This is when the software delivering/managing the site is about to switch. URLs, user flow, navigation — just about everything tech-related will change. For easier situations we’re talking about ditching something terrible for WordPress or a similar content management system (CMS). In more complex scenarios, you could be looking at switching from/to Magento, angularjs, and/or some proprietary setup.

Redesign – This is when we update the visual appearance of a website. URLs, user flow, and navigation can change or remain the same. This can be the least intensive option since you’re not necessarily changing every single thing like a replatform. There’s less relearning for crawlers to do in cases where URLs/navigation remain the same. This goes by Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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