You’ve done it! You have the all-clear to start your museum website redesign. Armed with a list of everything you hate about your current website, it’s tempting to jump right into sketching wireframes or outlining site maps. Not so fast, partner! (That’s how we talk here in Nashville.) There are a few things you’ll want to do first to maximize your odds for a successful museum website redesign.
1. Talk to your stakeholders.
While your website might primarily be the realm of your marketing or communications team, it’s important, in one way or another, to just about every department at your organization. External stakeholders, like donors, members and other supporters, likely also have thoughts on how your site could be improved. Take time to sit down with each of your stakeholders and hear what their needs are. What works for them and what doesn’t? What would they like to see in a new website? It might help to have a short survey, especially for external stakeholders. Everyone likes to feel like their opinion was heard (and considered), so this is a crucial step to getting buy-in on the final product.
2. Prioritize what you heard from your stakeholders.
Everyone is going to have an opinion about your new website. Some will be thoughtful and insightful. Some will be personal preferences. The tricky part is to correctly determine which is which. Obviously not everything can be the most important. Plan on doing some prioritization and probably some elimination. Which brings us to number 3.
3. Review your analytics.
When you’re making tough decisions about what gets top billing and what doesn’t, having objective evidence to support your position is the best way to avoid death threats and break room refrigerator-based retaliation. This is where analytics can help you. Take a deep dive into your visitor behavior. What content is viewed the most? What parts of your site are a ghost town? Getting the cold, hard facts will help you determine what content needs to be front and center, and what is going to have to take a back seat.
4. Figure out your goals and metrics.
You know what your stakeholders want. You know how visitors are actually behaving on your site. Now it’s time to think about what you want to happen. Are you aiming for an increase in donations? More online ticket sales? Better event promotion? Once you know your ultimate desired outcomes, what metrics will you use to measure your progress? Organic search traffic, length of sessions, page views, etc.? Achieving the goals of your museum website redesign starts with clearly defining those goals and laying out benchmarks on the path to success.
Piece of cake, right? While none of these steps are the most glamorous part of your website redesign, they are crucial to getting a new website that not only looks cool, but adds real business value. (For more help planning your website redesign, download our free Website Redesign Workbook.)