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Mission Control / Websites

The 6 Biggest Website Redesign Mistakes

On your journey to a new and improved site, beware these common website design pitfalls.

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By Katie Bridges

You know a well-designed site when you browse one. And that site didn’t happen by accident. It took a team of folks taking specific, methodical steps to create that intuitive, easy-to-navigate, well-written experience. As you plan your website redesign, avoid these six common website design mistakes.

The Issue: Failing to Conduct Stakeholder Interviews

A vital part of the discovery process, stakeholder interviews ensure that everyone who engages with the website on a regular basis is getting what they need from the site. The goal in conducting these interviews is to uncover the pain points that affect the people you talk to — and then let this data inform the design.

The Fix: For a new site that’s already live, consider doing a post-mortem with your stakeholders to identify any bugs or gaps that you may have missed.

The Issue: Not Running a Traffic Analysis on Your Old Site

A traffic analysis gives you key data points about the web traffic going to and from your existing site. Running an analysis on your old site can help inform priorities for the new site by helping you understand:

  • Who’s visiting your site
  • How long they’re staying on your site
  • What they’re doing while on your site
  • Most-likely reasons they leave your site
The Fix: Ideally, the traffic analysis is completed at the beginning of the project to inform the sitemap and navigation. But if this step was missed, it’s still worth running an analysis after the fact and implementing key takeaways as needed.

The Issue: Writing Copy Without a Content Strategy

When caught up in the excitement of a website redesign, it can be easy to put content on the backburner. But when it comes time to write new copy for your website — or repurpose copy from your old site — having a strategy in place will help your team create cohesive, actionable copy that moves your target audience through the funnel.

The Fix: While we always recommend having a content strategy in place before the redesign work begins, it’s never too late to re-examine your messaging site-wide and adjust accordingly.

The Issue: Neglecting to Create User Stories

User stories use informal language to outline the actions you’re envisioning users will take on your site. For example, contacting your organization or subscribing to your newsletter. They use non-technical language to provide context for the content, design and development team. After reading the users stories, the team knows what they’re building, why they are building it and what value it creates — which ultimately leads to a website that is user-friendly and more likely to convert.

The Fix: User stories are valuable tools not only for informing your website design, but also for better understanding your target audience — and how to effectively communicate with them. So even if these stories were skipped initially, it’s a worthwhile investment to create a set of user stories for your existing website to see if there is any missing content.

The Issue: Not Prioritizing Intuitive Navigation and Accessibility

Websites with bad design features like a poor navigational structure can drive away visitors who are short on time and patience. And accessibility issues can make it impossible for some people to use the site. Text size, color contrast, page titles, image alt text, keyboard accessibility, moving and blinking contents like carousels, ads, auto-playing videos, scrolling news feeds and tickers are all elements that need to be reviewed from an accessibility standpoint.

The Fix: If you’re unsure about your site’s accessibility, run an audit to identify any issues — and work to fix them ASAP.

The Issue: A Lack of Clear Calls to Action

Your website users shouldn’t have to fumble and guess their way through your site. Clear, concise CTAs allow users to quickly and easily take a measurable action like donating or signing up for emails. Without CTAs, users are less likely to convert.

The Fix: Use content that describes the value of your organization’s services, along with a compelling phrase that prompts action. It’s not necessary to get creative with wording — strong CTAs include straightforward phrases like “Sign Up” and “Get Started.”

Does Your Website Need a Redesign?

We can help! We’ll start the process with sound strategy and follow it up with conversion-focused content and eye-catching design.


Katie Bridges Overlay Blue
Katie Bridges Senior Editor

Katie has almost a decade of editorial experience, spending most of those years as an editor at regional magazines. A Georgetown University grad, she helps guide digital and print content programs from concept to completion for C/A clients such as Vanderbilt Health, Niagara Falls USA and Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has written for Garden & Gun, Washingtonian and Arkansas Life, among others.

The mother of two young girls, Katie can most often be found on a hiking trail with her family (Sedona’s a favorite). She’s a Southerner through and through, and the only member of the C/A team who uses the word “y’all” with abandon.

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