It's a lot of work to plan, design, and build a new website. So when you already have one in place, how do you know when it’s the right time to redesign what you have?
If you know us at Echo, you know that we have very strong opinions about redesigns. It’s not that we don’t like them—we think that, when needed, they can be a very powerful tool to advance an organization’s reach and reputation online. Sometimes they are very necessary. Other times, they are excessive and overshadow more effective iterative approaches that can result in greater success.
So often, organizations redesign for the wrong reasons. A big event is upcoming, a board member wants a new design, the organization has new leadership. While these are all valid reasons to consider overhauling a website or application, they are not the right decision making criteria. Ultimately, whatever it is that you’re considering redesigning needs to perform. Redesigning for any other reason can lead to waste and cycles of rework.
So why would we redesign?
In 2014, as we were looking ahead to the future of our work, we realized two important things. First, the social sector was falling behind in applying user experience to create meaningful engagement with constituents. Second, most organizations were limiting their user research and data analysis work to tracking fundraising performance, marketing communications, and online advocacy in institutional silos. There was no single view of the user.
We decided to tackle this problem. We developed new practices to help clients confront old problems with user experience approaches—you can see in our case studies the transformative results of this work. In 2016, we expanded our team, bringing in senior, experienced talent with specialized expertise in content strategy, user experience design, digital strategy and operations, and product research and development. We’re excited that bringing on this new talent also means expanding the services we offer our clients.
And with new faces, new skills, new abilities, we knew our old website didn’t really represent who we had become, nor did it allow us to celebrate the important work of our clients. And, quite frankly, we were tired of hearing “we almost didn’t work with you because your site doesn’t at all reflect who you are.” Ouch.
We had our own website performance issue to solve—and we couldn’t, in good faith, go around offering advice that we weren’t taking ourselves! And so we are excited to share the launch of our new echo.co and branding. Our new website better shows off the clients and projects we’ve worked on, as well as features this new Advice blog so we can focus on addressing the bigger, more important topics you care about.*
We also have a new, more distinct logo to use going forward—with its blend of a simple monospace font and an ampersand with some flourish, it conveys the way we blend simple technology and creative user experience design, structured planning and process with innovation and refinement. It is the balance of art and science we use to create a unified whole. We’ve also carried the logo changes into copy, where we’ll simply be Echo&Co from now on.
But in the ways that are most important, we’re very much still the same. We’re the same team, doing the same work, day in and day out, committed to helping organizations move their mission forward online.
*P.S. Got a question about website design, content strategy, or something else? Send them those questions for Dear Ditto.