3 lessons for website redesign

Welcome! Come right in and make yourself comfy!

I'm so so happy to introduce you to my redesigned site! It's been an amazing (and overwhelming) experience and I've learned SO much.
(If you're reading this via email, click through to see my brand new site!)

The changes represent a massive visual re-branding, created + implemented by Jessika Hepburn. Well, it can hardly be considered a “re”-branding, since I didn't have visual branding to begin with.
And this brings us to the lessons I learned:

  1. Just because you have a website doesn't mean you have a visual brand.
    A website designer is not the same as a visual branding specialist. (Although some do awesome visual branding, you should be clear up front on what you're looking for.) You see, a website designer will design your website – give you a cool template, and maybe make a few buttons for you. But they're not looking at the entire visual identify of your business. And for many of you graphic designers + artists – that's perfect, because you are skilled at creating your own visual identity.
    But I am not. I can use Photoshop and I know what I like, but that doesn't mean I can illustrate or even come up with the ideas of what will communicate what I want to communicate. As Jessika said when we started this process: Your voice is SO clear in your words, you just need your visuals to match it.
    Although there was also a change to my website's layout, the focus was on creating a cohesive visual presence, that matched with my words + my work, so that as soon as you land here, you can get it.
  2. You are responsible for knowing what you want. But often someone else can spot your sparkle better than you can.
    Whether you're working with a designer, an exploration guide, or a hairstylist – you have to know what it is you want. You need to be clear on what you do, who you serve, and how you want them to feel. So your first step is to get crystal clear on that (which is what the first 2 chapters of my book help you do.)
    But then, once you're really in it, sometimes you can't see what makes you so special – that special blend of happiness and delight that you bring into your customer's life. This is where working with a professional is so important – they can see what you do well + how that's different from what other people do + how to communicate that. (This assumes you're working with someone who really *gets* you.)I hope that what I really wanted out of the redesign (for you to feel comfortable and happy and encouraged) + what Jessika spotted in my work (silliness + boldness + adventure) comes across in what you see on the page. (I think it does!)
  3.  Prioritize what you want your reader to do. 
    Even though I literally wrote the book on this (Chapter 4), it was still super hard. This is where knowing your customer's path comes in.* I've learned that the path most customers take is –>read blog + like it –> subscribe to email lessons –> buy book or class –> join Starship (once inside the Starship, we work together one-on-one). This leads to the best, most productive relationships, with the biggest transformations in their business, so it's my job to make that path clear + easy.

*I'll be teaching a brand-new class about this next month!

How can you make your Customer Path even easier?

Now that you know what went on behind the scenes, here's what actually changed:

  • I have a home page! It'll help you navigate to whatever you need.
  • I have a shop! Finally, all of my classes, guides, books, and adventures are in one spot. (And I have a cart! So you can buy more than one thing at a time without checking out multiple times! Magic!)
  • A brand-new page for new readers. If you're not sure where to start, this page will introduce you to what you can find (and where!)
  • Check out the new footer – no matter what page you land on, you've got a chance to meet me (hi!) + learn a bit about being an explorer.
  • Stars, smiling planets, and pink! Jessika did a glorious job designing my new logo (up top!) and adorable illustrations for my products.

The smiling planet is my fave. Isn't it adorable?!


A note for subscribers

  • If you subscribe to the blog via email, you don't have to do a thing, you'll still get the messages same as always.
  • If you use an RSS reader, you'll have to update it to link to taraswiger.com/blog/feed.
  • If you only get the weekly message but you'd like to get the blog posts too, you can always edit your subscription by heading here, putting in your info and “update subscription”

And that's it!
Do you have any questions about the process or the new site? 

PS. Jessika isn't just a designer, she's also a genius community-builder + supporter. If you'd like to meet more of our community + get away from it all, check out her Maker's Retreat.

1 Comment on 3 lessons for a website redesign

  1. Anaphase
    April 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm (10 years ago)

    Tara, it looks so great! I think this will serve you well, both online AND offline. Congrats to you and to Jessica.

    And now, I’m off to finish updating my site. 😉