Hello, loyal readers. Or hi, Mom, at least.
At ROI Online, we recently decided we needed to update our website. Anyone who knows our agency knows that we aren’t the type to keep doing the same thing for too long, especially if it's no longer working.
This time, we took a good hard look at our blog.
When it comes to your website, you may not think about your blog too much. The traditional list style that appears across the web has become common, but we wanted to create something that represented our team’s personality and our refreshed, StoryBranded website. We also wanted to create a blog that was visually pleasing, yet easy to use and fun for our readers.
We worked as a team and came up with what is now our new and improved blog. Whether we showcase written content, infographics or videos, each blog now fully shines.
Here are the phases of our blog redesign.
Phase 1 - Planning and Research
We spent time looking through other blogs to discover what trends were worth following. We also took a page out of the HubSpot blog redesign and mirrored their structure. You can learn more about HubSpot's approach to their blog redesign, here.
HubSpot used the SCRUM Framework for their approach, which is an agile framework that prioritizes teamwork and collaboration. We structured our team pod similarly; we are already used to working closely together, so collaborating wasn’t a challenge for us.
Our team was much smaller than HubSpot's structured their group, as there are only 12 of us on staff. Everyone on our team provided feedback, offered their expertise and helped move the process forward.
We determined our must-haves for the blog, made features that would be nice to have, as well as some we needed to research more (this would fall under Phase 2).
HubSpot did a lot of the footwork by creating pillar pages and structuring the flow of their blogs back into their website’s primary topics. This made it easier for the content team to set up ROI-specific pillar pages.
Phase 2 - Mockup and Design
We knew how we were going to design the website and why, but we didn’t know what it was going to look like. I created a few wireframes after studying several websites. From there, I started drafting up concepts and thinking how this should work.
I reviewed it with the team and made necessary tweaks. Next, I created digital mockups. We reviewed these again, made more adjustments, and finally landed on our finished product.
Phase 3 - Development
We created a new visual style guide for the development department to follow. After passing this along to development, who built the site in the HubSpot COS, we realized we had a few new things to research and implement.
We installed a script that allows readers to see an estimated read time for each post as well as the nifty little status bar you can see at the top of your browser, which shows you how much progress you’ve made in the article.
After a few rounds of QCs, we decided to create our Staff Picks. We wanted to choose blog posts that let our readers know what we are all about here at ROI, plus highlight our expertise and specialties. You can see the Staff Picks on the right side of our main blog listing page.
Which brings us where we are today.
Phase 4 - Continuous Improvement
In typical growth-driven design tradition, we are now studying our blog design, seeing how you — our reader — is interacting with it and learning how we can improve the user experience. We are always looking for new things to add to our blog to ensure a great experience. Just this week, we added a related articles feature at the bottom of each post.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our blog redesign process. We hope it gives you better insight into how we do what we do here at ROI.
If you are interested in redesigning your blog or website without the pains of traditional web design, watch my Growth-Driven Design video.
Want to help us with our redesign and be part of our process? Leave a comment with your thoughts or concerns. None of this matters if our users aren’t happy; we aim to please!