Website Redesign Case Study

Website Redesign Case Study

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This Website Redesign Case Study demonstrates the process to ensure success. Blindly redesigning a site is expensive and, frankly, a waste of everyone’s time.

The purpose of this Website Redesign Case Study is to demonstrate the steps as outlined in my article, Website Planning Guide.

Website Redesign Case Study Subject: Film Rights Ltd

Website Redesign Case Study Needs Assessment

The first stage of a redesign project (or any design project, for that matter) is developing a Needs Assessment.

A Needs Assessment is the process of figuring out 4 things:

  1. Why a redesign is wanted (Reason)
  2. Where a business has been (History)
  3. Where it is going (Future)
  4. How to get it there (The Plan)

1. The Reason

The existing Film Rights Ltd website is out of date in the extreme. Created in 2000 and updated in 2007, the site is 14 years old (since the last design update).

film rights ltd image
This site is really out of date
film rights ltd image
And it’s really hard to read on a mobile device

Website Redesign Case Study – Why Does it Matter?

Technology improves at a frightening speed. As improvements come about, we, the uses, expect more features and a seamless user experience (UX).

But, what does a seamless user experience even mean?

The reason websites exist is to provide the user with relevant and accurate information. Users will then make decisions about purchasing products or services.

In a nutshell, the general population expect at the least fast loading times and a pleasing design (User Interface, UI).

But one other aspect comes into play before a purchase: Trust.

The Basic Math

A Seamless User Experience (UX) + Pleasant User Interface (UI) + Relevant and Accurate Information = Trust (Sales)

2. Film Rights History

In association with Laurence Fitch Ltd, Film Rights Ltd started life in 1934 as The London Play Company.

The brand has been around for a while.

3. Film Rights Future

As with any business, a solid and reliable online presence is paramount. For without this, one runs the risk of becoming obsolete.

A reasonable argument (from a web designer’s point of view, at least) is since the technology is so outdated, the website can’t perform as it should.

But the site owner has a reasonable argument, too: “…A flash website will attract authors seeking representation, but serious-minded media people will not be impressed.”

4. The Plan Moving Forward

Clearly, from the site owners response, a redesign is not likely any time soon.

However, there are opportunities if one looks close enough. I see this as a chance to create this Website Redesign Case Study to demonstrate a straightforward process for those considering such a venture.

So, let’s get started.

Film Rights Ltd Website Redesign Case Study

Website Redesign Case Study Assumptions

Since Film Rights Ltd does not endorse this redesign project, I need to make a fundamental assumption: This site requires a complete redesign.

As such, I will take the liberty of making decisions about the content, the look, and the new site’s feel.

And, for this Website Redesign Case Study, I will use ONLY the existing text (spelling and grammar left as is).

Website Redesign Case Study Goals

  1. Redesign existing site to work seamlessly across the most common device screen sizes.
  2. Use a clean, clutter-free layout.
  3. Employ current best practices for coding and code semantics.
  4. Design the site to be easily updateable and flexible enough to change with newer best practices (future proof).

The Main Issues

Before understanding what to improve, first, we need to know what’s wrong. Here are the 6 main offenders:

  1. Not Mobile Friendly
  2. Poor Navigation
  3. Outdated Design
  4. Obsolete Code
  5. Zero Social Media Interaction
  6. Security? What Security

1. Mobile Friendliness

Mobile Friendliness is an odd term to me. After all, mobile devices are the norm, not the exception. Mobile usability surely must be a standard feature? Anyway…

From the screenshots, one can see that the current site doesn’t scale for mobile devices (and the laptop view isn’t much better). Given that an estimated 3.6 billion people use mobile devices, I’d say this is a big issue. Source:

film rights ltd image
Mobile device view
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Laptop view

2. Poor Navigation

Regarding navigation on this specific site, I must admit that things here are not typical.

Most websites have many pages, whereas Film Rights Ltd has just a few. It is commonplace (and expected) that when viewing a site on a mobile device, the menu (navigation) is in the form of a Hamburger Menu.

With this project, it is conceivable that a Hamburger Menu may not be necessary.

website redesign case study image - film rights ltd navigation example
Film Rights Ltd Navigation
kevin oliver web design navigation example
An Expected Hamburger Menu Icon

Other than being outdated, the navigation on Film Rights Ltd can is usable without using the Hamburger Menu. As such, I will incorporate this in the new design.

3. Outdated Design

The subject of design is a challenging one. Design is, by nature, subjective.

The owner of Film Rights Ltd might absolutely love the current layout, colours and font, etc.

What I can say is, for right or wrong, certain expectations exist. One such expectation is that all content is readily accessible.

Accessibility means regardless of one’s impairment, every piece of content is fully available. No one must be disadvantaged – for any reason – ever. Read more about Accessibility Guidelines.

4. Obsolete Code

clean semantic code example
This screenshot shows W3C compliant semantic code. Everything here is what Google and Browsers expect.
website redesign case study image
The code here is written with an old version of Microsoft Office. It’s not even HTML!

5. Zero Social Media Interaction

Earlier, I quoted the response from the owner that he didn’t want to attract hoards of hopeful authors. This point is fair and reasonable too.

But, in the interest of demonstrating the norm, I will add Social Media share buttons.

6. Security

Website security is more important than you may realise. The (usually) green padlock indicates your site is secure from hackers, phishing expeditions and spam attacks.

Oh, and Google will penalise you in their rankings for not having a valid SSL Certificate.

Rather than going into the details of SSL importance here, read my article, SSL Certificates – All You Need to Know. You might also benefit from reading my article about Website Security in general.

The Website Redesign Case Study Result

Here is a screenshot of the result. Granted, it isn’t what everyone would settle for. But it does demonstrate clearly the redesign process.


If you think I can help you with your project, let me know!

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