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Redesign Projects Should Set Your Site Apart Just Enough

September 25, 2020

I’ve said it before: you can learn a lot about your own website by observing redesign projects that other sites have undertaken. Examples arise semi-regularly at extremely popular sites, including major social media platforms. Better yet, when those redesign projects emerge on a staggered schedule, they tend to reinforce one another’s lessons.

This seems to be the case with a recent changes at LinkedIn, which involve many of the same new features as were previously introduced with Facebook and Twitter redesign projects. While these don’t necessarily need to be seen as guides for your own site, they should certainly be food for thought. Your site is presumably very distinct from each of these platforms, but also shares some of its audience with them.

Have your visitors’ preferences helped to influence changes at Facebook or LinkedIn? Or are those changes influencing what those users expect from the interface at other sorts of websites? These are questions for you and your local web developers to consider as you continually monitor traffic patterns, website analytics, and consumer feedback.

Ultimately, the decisions that you make about ongoing website development should mimic the decision-making process on display at popular sites like LinkedIn. Its latest redesign projects arguably copied some of the earlier changes from their social media competitors. These include a more rounded aesthetic, a larger display, warmer colors, and an optional dark mode. But LinkedIn clearly also made an effort to maintain the familiar distinctions in its own aesthetic and to introduce additional changes that weren’t a part of other sites’ redesign projects.

The overall principal that’s on display in that patchwork of changes is one that I’ve tried to convey via many other posts at this blog: Your own website should keep pace with the predominant web design trends, but without making itself into a carbon copy of other, similar sites.

There’s such a thing as fitting in too much, and there’s also such a thing as standing out too much. Your local web design company should have a sense of how to navigate the middle ground between those extremes. It should also be able to do so in a way that reflects the precise features of your business or online brand.

When discussing possible website redesign projects, you can help your development team by making it clear what makes you different from your competitors, as well as what makes you stand toe-to-toe with them. In all likelihood, there are ways of conveying those similarities and differences through any number of design elements. Then visitors will more easily understand that you’re keeping pace with your industry, but not clinging to anyone’s coattails.

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