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“RE” vs. “ER” Thinking – Breaking Down Website Redesign

More often than not, when a company looks to invest in the redevelopment of their website, discussions are launched with a website review divulging issues or problems with the current website design, performance,  content, or layout. That said, the process is often viewed as a time to “fix” the site or “ER” thinking. The goals, direction, and strategies are developed to fix what’s wrong with the website when, ultimately, a website redesign offers a unique opportunity for a company to work from a “RE” perspective. It is a time to REthink, REimagine and REdevelop their online brand and experience, as well as the business goals and processes that support them.

REwork What You “Know”

With the online experience of a brand being so integral to profitability these days, this is not the time to just “stop the bleeding.” It is a time to slow down and REvisit your business. This is because by focusing on making “it” better, faster, simpler, etc. you are doing more or less the same-old, same old, and furthering whatever was done in the past with the same train of thought and range of possibilities.  As Edward de Bono once said, “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.” Your goal as you begin your website redesign, is innovation and value creation, developing the differentiation of your company so you can win in the marketplace.

The key to developing breaking-throughs is breaking away from conventional thinking and a herd mentality.  View your business and your new goals as a first-time tourist with alien eyes to relieve you and your team of all pre-existing cognitive restraints:  existing belief systems, principles, mores, customs, values, traditions, standards, and culture.

To break away and shift your mindset consider these helpful tips:

    1. Question:  Ask “What if, Why, Why Not” to understand what is below the surface.  You will be surprised as to the reasons for their existence and how much more clear the pathway to innovation becomes with this new insight.
    2. See:  We look passively at what is in front of our eyes but only notice what catches our attention.  When we observe intently and actively connect and combine what we know and can infer, we create what yet exists – possibilities, opportunities, and additional alternatives.  
    3. Defy:  Much of our existence is lived subconsciously on autopilot, blind faith acceptance of “what is” conditions, circumstances, and situations. By pausing to fully agree or acquiesce and defy “the way it is” you could imagine “what could be”.  The momentum of our personal and professional lives blinds us to the signs and signals alerting our perceptions to off-road discoveries, so we need to be alert to them before we can see and act on them.

REset Over Time

While true innovation is transformative, unless it is also adopted, it is just a fad to address a current “problem”, soon to die out over time.  (Kind of like a brush fire that consumes everything in its path until it hits what was already burned to an ember.).  Transformational thinking in groups must be transitional in nature to incrementally sway constituents over time and give staff the ability to adapt and adapt to new directions and strategies.

Redesigning your website is parallel to REinventing your business and needs to be approached with the same mindset.  Steadily and consistently integrate elements at varying tiers for optimal results in your online and offline business strategy to ensure adoption, adaptation, and understanding from everyone they touch.

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