During a website redesign, it's tough to organize all your website content.
What should be up front? What is most important? What can move to the background? Do we really need all these pages?
Well-organized content is critical for a successful website redesign, as the Village of Sherman, Illinois discovered.
Something for Everyone
Sherman, Illinois, is a growing, family-oriented village located just north of Springfield. As a community, Sherman wants to build an online presence that matches the growing, robust community.
Eager to please its stakeholders, the village’s website imagined every possible need for its users and included more than 50 links on the front page. Yes, there was something for everyone – but in terms of a website solution, that’s not the best idea.
Clear the Clutter
A cluttered website with too much information up front can lack clarity and focus, according to eyequant.com.
Cluttered sites can overwhelm users and drive them away. The outdated Sherman website also had limited ability on mobile devices, risking frustrated visitors – and potential homeowners.
So how do you figure out how to organize your content? Two secret weapons can unclutter and focus your site.
1. Tap a User Experience Engineer
What does a User Experience engineer do? A User Experience (UX) expert’s job is to make the site useful, usable and enjoyable for website visitors. This is especially important for mobile users. A UX specialist will:
- Analyze visitors, understanding who is visiting the site
- Research the site’s industry or product
- Determine a structure for your website
- Test the redesigned site.
LRS Web Solutions’ User Experience expert (UX) Jamie Baird worked with Sherman to analyze how users interacted with the site and how the content should flow for user satisfaction. Often, less is more when it comes to homepage content.
Jamie took the insights to the team of web developers to give the Sherman site a much-needed restructuring.
The streamlined site highlights the visual beauty of the small village, featuring photos of Sherman’s parks, amphitheater and golf courses. Contact information is easy to access via the top banner. After a personal message from the mayor, users can scroll to the latest news and easily sign up for an emergency alert system. Menu items neatly organize the rest of the info without overwhelming the user.
Once your site is live and flowing smoothly, you can get information about how people are using your site by reviewing the data analytics.
2. Look at the data
Data helps you understand how web traffic funnels through your site and your user’s experience.
Google Analytics can tell you who your audience is, where they live, and how they found your site, what search terms they used, and so much more. The more you know about your users and what they want, the more you can tailor the information on your site to their needs and desires.
Prior to its redesign, Sherman didn’t have Google Analytics set up, so it had no idea about its visitors. As part of the redesign, LRS Web Solutions added Google Analytics.
In just a few short months, Sherman has learned that more than 50 percent of its viewers are viewing the website on either a mobile device or a tablet. LRS Web Solutions rigorously tests clients’ websites to ensure the sites are mobile-friendly.
Over time, Sherman webmasters will be able to further analyze the needs of their visitors, see which pages are most popular, update their content and adjust their navigation accordingly. This will keep their content fresh, increase the satisfaction of their website visitors and make the search engines happy, too.
It Takes a Village
It took a village of web design experts at LRS Web Solutions to streamline the website for the village of Sherman, Illinois. But in the end, the redesigned website will grow and change right along with the community.
Learn more about how creating a great user experience often means keeping it simple.
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