Companies don’t have many opportunities to redesign their website and therefore always have high hopes. They imagine it will be everything they want and more, it will have an elaborate design, lots of functionality and it will increase sales and revenue.

But there is a big difference between fiction and reality. You may want a website with lots of functionalities and pages, but it may not be in your best interest. And even if you have a great website pictured in your mind, conveying your vision to your website designer is no easy task either.

Take a look at Google.  When you first land on what is the first and only thing you see? The search bar, because that’s what users go to Google for. Even though they are also an advertising company, a newspaper, an email provider etc, the one thing you see is the most important one.  Google knew what they wanted their website to accomplish and chose an interface that would enhance it.

Let’s take a lesson from Google and look at some tips on how to prepare your website redesign:

  1. Create a site map. Take a piece of paper and write out the major sections you want on your website and fill them with the pages you want.
  2. Pick three basic objectives you want your website to accomplish. Increasing online sales, increasing in-store sales, recruiting new customers, showcasing your products or keeping your customers informed are typical objectives of a website.
  3. Make a list of all the special functionalities that you want your website to have. It could be a form, a blog, or an e-commerce platform.
  4. When you’re done put those three items side by side and cross off every section, page or functionality that won’t directly help you reach your objectives.

The result should be simple. Too many pages or functionalities will just confuse your users and prevent them from efficiently using your website.

This method will give you a clear vision of what you need and want, and will help you communicate it to your website designers. Remember: keep it simple.