If you’ve been following me on Twitter or this blog in the past couple months I’m sure you’ve noticed that I had a bad case of redesign-itis… I must have redesigned SpyreStudios something like 3 or 4 times in the last 6 months. Maybe more. You see, I can’t even keep track of how many times I did it. Ouch!
Why did I redesign so many times? Why wasn’t I happy with those previous designs? I’m done now, I’m sick of redesigning. I know many designers, like me, suffer (or used to suffer) from redesign-itis!
So what can we do to cure this, or at least treat it? Instead of just talking to myself, I figured my thought process could be of interest to some of you folks :)
1- Too Much Inspiration?
I love inspirational articles and showcases of well-designed sites. The proof is right here on SpyreStudios, we’ve published many showcase and inspiration posts and I see no reason to stop. We can all use some inspiration from time to time to get our creative juices flowing, right?
But when is it too much? Here’s a quick way to help cure redesign-itis: Seek inspiration when you need some to get back on track or cause you don’t feel creative at all, but don’t let those killer designs you see everywhere drive you nuts and make you redesign your site ‘just because’, you probably don’t need to anyway.
2- Don’t Redesign, Realign Instead
Hey, you’ve worked hard to get your initial design up! Of course it’s possible you will get tired of it eventually, but don’t jump the gun and open up Photoshop just yet. Try realigning. Why not just change the color scheme a bit? Maybe realign only a portion of your site, say your sidebar or your comment section if you own a blog?
Try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t redesign because you want to, redesign because you need to, because you’ll get a better conversion rate, more subscribers or whatever else it is you’re after.
What has changed since your last design? Find the root of the problem and fix it. Seriously, how often in the last 5 years did Google redesign their homepage?
3- Let It Sit For A While
If you absolutely feel the need to redesign, make yourself a huge favor and don’t launch your new design right away. Let it sit for a while, wait a couple days, a week, or even a month.
When you go back to it you will either love it and want to go ahead and code it up or you’ll simply hate it. If that happens you’ll be happy you didn’t spend time coding it and making it all pretty for IE6 users.
Redesigning just to show off your skills is kinda pointless anyway.
4- Just Live With It
Your current design isn’t bad, in fact it’s probably just fine the way it is! Why not just live with it and spend all that energy of redesigning on client’s sites or other more important projects that will earn you money?
Unless you’re not satisfied at all with your site’s results, there’s not need to redesign. And when you do redesign, it’ll make a much bigger bang and people will maybe talk about it more and comment on it.
5- Study Other Sites In Your Niche
Have a look around, study other sites, blogs and businesses in the same niche. When did they last redesigned their site? I don’t see big blogs like Smashing Magazine redesigning every couple months. Of course not!
Why not spend a couple hours researching sites in your niche and see how often they redesign, and what changes from month to month?
6- Work With Other Designers
Many freelance designers work from home, that’s cool. But why not take a minute to ask fellow designers what they think of your layout before you start coding away? This could save you some major headaches down the road. Even better, why not work with another designer? Yes I mean partnering-up or even hiring someone to work with you on your redesign.
Oh and if you work with a team already and you got collective redesign-itis syndrome, maybe it’s time you start asking yourself some serious questions :)
Your Turn To Talk
Do you suffer from ‘redesign-itis’? Would you like to share some tips on how to cure it? Please let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear your stories!
Now I guess I gotta stand by my own advice, eh? Please, someone kick me if I redesign next month! :)