Realigning vs. Redesigning

October 27, 2005 by

Speaking of improving web sites, we were sent a link today about the difference between redesigning a site and realigning it. The main point is that massive redesigns where you toss out everything and start over don’t need to be the order of the day. Instead designers should seek to improve what’s already there, making subtle changes and tweaks to retain the ideas but improve the experience. The result is usually better and often cheaper than starting from scratch.

Good call.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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6 Responses to “Realigning vs. Redesigning”

  • Greg Vennerholm
    October 28, 2005

    My current (daytime) employer is an e-commerce platform company… we help our clients sell their business content. We are always looking for ways to improve our sites, and are lterally “realigning” our product page displays on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. The results are staggering. (In October alone, we took a site that had only $200/day in sales to $2,000/day, solely by small changes… nothing drastic.)
    For a ministry related example, one of my clients (that is, freelance client) is currently looking to improve their commerce component, so instead of a redesign (which we completed late last year) we’re going to implement an iterative process of small improvements, measure the results, and react accordingly. As this particular ministry is about helping marriages, I’m hoping that our efforts are successful, since their product sales help them fund their ministry at large.
    God is in the details. Often times small adjustments are what’s really needed. How true that is.

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  • Nate K
    October 31, 2005

    First off. Greg, your site looks great! You guys do great work!
    Second, I read this article last week – and agree with it for the most part. The big problem I saw with redesigns was the hype and expectations with it. Actually, the last site project I had where we redesigned the whole site – it was a flop. This is because the new design twisted our users perspective and their previous knowledge of the site. They couldnt find anything, they didnt know what to do / where to go / etc.
    Realigning will help you, AND your user – get to a better place , and at a better pace!

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  • Greg Vennerholm
    October 31, 2005

    Thanks for your kind words about my work. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with some incredible ministries.
    I found the “realigning” notion pretty liberating, especially with the results I’ve seen in the commercial world.
    Either way designers choose to roll… the big picture is to realize the “why” we’re doing this: To win the lost.
    Pray continually.

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  • Fred Golz
    November 14, 2005

    In business we operate under the old principle that the customer is king. Many churches web sites that I have seen are still about “us”, who we are, what “we” have to offer. I think churches have to learn that it is not about “them”. I wish I would see more web sites that mirror the love of God for others.

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  • drew
    December 6, 2005

    i know this comment is a bit late. however, i thought it would be interesting to let folks know that this same article is being cited in several courses at savannah college of art and design. the redesign -vs- realign argument is a pretty hot topic right now amongst designers, coders, and professors alike. way to keep on top of things, C.M.S. keep it up!

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  • Joseph S.
    February 23, 2006

    hmmmm. going through a redesign, i would think there is a time and a place for all. While our content did not change much, we are technically re-designing our entire web-page. New CSS new pages, new templates, new headers, new layout, etc… Even several new topics. While it is a pain, it was long over-due and would have taken longer to piece our old page then to completely revamp our whole site.
    I think it just depends on time and money. If you have the time and money and of course need. Then by all means go for it. However if you are home-brew, then piece it. it will ease and smooth the transition and there is no deadline.

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