Every time I see the launch of an ambitious new website, magazine, social media campaign or other design and content-rich platform, I wonder about the maintenance and improvement plan. Yes, I am that much of a geek.
I used to question the need for large-scale redesigns, which consume a great deal of effort and resources, vs. moving to an ongoing redesign process - a ramp rather than a ladder. I've come around though, perhaps because it's more realistic but still think the big splash often is just that - a huge step followed by either stagnation or moderate steps until the next big overhaul.
It seems some fundamental questions should be asked up front to ensure that the big splash has a long-lasting ripple effect.
- Is our design supported by a solid content plan?
- Do we have a stable content management system?
- Do we have the people and technology to maintain this level of quality (particularly as it relates to photos, video, etc.)
- Have we set benchmarks for success that are related to institutional priorities/strategy?
- Do we have the proper tools to collect and report out on progress?
- If we are not hitting goals, do we have the flexibility to adjust course?
Redesigns feel good because they show progress and can often get us to the front of the pack in terms of technology, design and visual presentation. The trick is to figure out if that improvement actually moves the needle and whether we can sustain it. You know. Geek stuff.photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu via photopin cc