I believe that design is integral to the success of a website. Design is not just there to make things look pretty but also to make content easier to digest and improve site usability. But how do you measure whether a design is successful or not?

Measuring the successes of design

It can be difficult to measure the success of a design – but ultimately you can see if you are receiving more enquiries or conversions. This, however, could be due to a number of reasons such as greater site traffic or a competitor going bust. If you are redesigning or altering an existing website at least you have a record of the analytical data for the previous version. Using that data you can look for the following trends:

  • A decrease in Bounce Rate
  • An increase in the Average Visit Duration
  • An increase in the number of pages visited
  • Improved interaction such as leaving comments or viewing reviews

If you have the same site structure then you could also look at the Behaviour Flow and Visitors Flow to compare how users move through the website. Though changing the site structure can be an important part of design.

An example

I recently worked with a client, West End Events, in redesigning their website. The main elements we looked to improve were the visual consistency, the user journey, how data was displayed and modernising the look.

West End Events Old Homepage

Before

West End Events hompage new

After

Comparing the two home pages you can see the main emphasis was on distilling the amount of information and giving the user clear options of where to proceed next. After all the home page is the gateway to your website. Clear calls to action and simple navigation is essential.

events

These pages show information regarding events. As you can see the old versions of the site displayed the event information in two completely different ways. If a user intended to view a number of events this lack of consistency could be frustrating.

events-new-design

events-page-new-sections

With the new design the most important data is provided at the top of the page. Then the rest of the information is broken up into clear and manageable sections.

Results

As a result of these changes we can take a 3 month period from the 1st July – 30th September. Then compare it to the same period the previous year with the old design. This is what it shows

  • A decrease in the Bounce Rate of -22.99%
  • An increase of the Average Visit Duration of 35.53%
  • An increase of 13.76% for Pages per visit

What’s your opinion on the power of design?