It’s hard to believe I moved into my new house almost a year ago. I remember walking in every day for the first few months, so excited by the look and layout. After weeks of painting, organizing and decorating everything felt new and perfect. For a while.
After about six months, the excitement faded. Nothing about it was wrong, I just stopped noticing. One particular rainy day, with nothing decent left to watch on TV and absolutely no motivation to go to the gym, I overhauled the living room. After moving the couch and end tables into at least three different configurations, I found a new layout that made the space look fresh again.
This got me thinking about the look and ‘freshness’ of my clients’ online space. Not just their websites, but social profiles too. When was the last time we updated the Facebook cover image? When I got back to work Monday morning I took a look around my client’s websites, social media profiles and email newsletter design and decided to make some changes.
Remove the Unnecessary
When I moved into my house there was a dart board hanging on one of the walls. Yes, a dart board. Not only was it hideous, it served no purpose in the house. After we tore it off the wall, fixed the holes and painted over it, I discretely hid it next to a coffee table until I could figure out what to do with it. That was a year ago.
Applying this to the look of my clients’ online profiles and branding, I found one client in particular that could use some freshening up. In the past few months we’ve added three new pages to Joe’s Butcher Shop’s website and in a few days we’ll need to add another to the navigation. It made sense at the time to put those pages where we did, but now we need to consider what is necessary in the primary navigation and what can be moved.
Takeaway – As time goes by, we tend to collect things. Once in a while, take a hard look at your online space and see if there is anything you can rearrange to make it more comfortable for your visitors. Quick additions and fixes often result in busy or cluttered websites. Take a step back and reevaluate what is most important and what people expect from your site, email or social profile.
Rummaging through my client’s social profile covers, I came across a Twitter account that hadn’t been used in a while. The old cover image wasn’t bad, it just didn’t match the updated look of the website and social avatar. Just by switching the cover image, the Twitter account looked entirely new, and more importantly, like someone actually used the account.
New icons or updated colors call for updated social profiles. To keep profiles fresh, you need to make sure everything that represents your brand reflects your aesthetic now. Even if you don’t use it often, you want to be sure everything you put online reflects your brand as it is today.
Takeaway: Help your brand keep up. Even simply changing the cover photo makes things feel fresh again. When your logo changes, make sure you update all of your profiles to create a consistent online presence. We don’t use Google Plus much, but a Google search might pull up this profile. Updating the cover photo and logo makes a good impression.
One easy way to make your online presence seem current is to update with seasonality or by year. For example, one of my clients hosts a yearly conference. I went to look at their overall social presence and found that the cover image boasted an event that had already happened. Update images to let your audience know your profiles are trustworthy and up to date. Takeaway: Past dates or irrelevant information gives the impression that the profile is no longer in use. It’s great to include time sensitive information or seasonal images like the example below. But these need to be changed frequently to keep the profile current and trustworthy.
Creating a new look doesn’t have to be a full website redesign. Small changes to your social profiles or website will go a long way in keeping your online look up to date, on brand and consistent across all platforms. Don’t just scroll by the same images day after day. Do a little renovating and clean your space. As long as the changes are consistent with your brand and conducive for a better user-experience, you’re good to go.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis web design firm.