Has that inevitable time to redesign the corporate website come upon you? As your company grows, changes are needed and reflecting it on your website is often one of the most critical steps to moving forward. The problem is that changing when you’ve gotten comfortable with the status quo can be scary and confusing. You don’t know what to change, where to start, or how to go about doing it. Here are some guidelines that can help you get over the hurdle if you’re in the state of mind.

#1 Create One Main Goal

After a while, it becomes inefficient for your main website to serve multiple goals. That’s why it’s important to create one main goal that will dwarf everything else. It might be to communicate brand values to a mass audience or provide valuable information for your customers. What’s critical here is that you are clear on what you’re trying to achieve with the corporate website. If you look at some of biggest brands, you’ll see that their corporate sites are designed around one goal. That doesn’t mean you’re limited to one goal, you just need to make it the central theme of the site.

#2 Extensive Research Is a Must

You have to figure out what your user base wants out of your website to serve your most profitable users. What do your users come to your site for? Are you currently serving their wants and needs? If not, what needs to happen so that these wants and needs can be fulfilled? Figuring out the answers to these questions is a big step forward in coming up with a solid plan for your new corporate site design. You’ll want to look at your analytics, run surveys, test different messages, and conduct market research to get solid data. You want to serve your most profitable group of users which may not even make up the majority of your entire audience.

#3 Visually, Start With the Brand

Once you have a clear idea of your purpose for the site and what your audience wants, it’s time to start working on the visual elements of the brand. Since it’s a corporate site, it will probably need a strong brand presence to stand out from competitors and make a mark on users. The change will have to start with the brand logo, visual branding, storytelling and other brand elements. You can use your research data to come up with a visual presentation that best engages and impresses upon the target audience.

These three foundations are important because everything else builds on them. You need to start at the macro level (ie. goals, strategy, research, data, tests) them work your way into the micro changes (type of imagery, color scheme, font, etc.). Approaching a redesign project in this manner streamlines the project so that it’s easy to figure out what the next step is.

Overall, corporate site design is all about being clear on your goals and on your audience. It’s important to mention that your purpose may not align with the desire of your audience. If this is the case, you have to figure a way to work in your goal to what your audience wants. If that can’t be done, then the problem really lies in how the website is being marketed to the target audience. There is some kind of disconnect there and you want to make it clearly transparent about what the audience should expect on the corporate site.