Over the last few months, I have been working on a major redesign of an existing Magento website. One of the major goals of the redesign was to take a legacy desktop-only website and upgrade it to take full advantage of Responsive Web Design so that customers could equally utilize mobile and desktop devices to browse and purchase products.

For a site that had seen only minor updates over the last 5 years, this redesign represented a major change visually and navigationally from the previous site. Based on the history of the site, the development team was optimistic that the redesign would be well-received, but were suprised by a few things that came up in the feedback we saw.

Overall, most people tended to really like the new design and its updated functionality. A handful of people were somewhat confused by what Responsive Web Design represented for the site, and strongly wanted a desktop view of the site, even when all of the content on the desktop site is visible on the redesign. Additionally, we underestimated the number of visitors to our site that were still utilizing older versions of iOS on iPads, causing some interesting user experiences that made things more difficult for the user to navigate the site.

The redesign at this point seems to be an overall success. The main reason for this is that user engagement within the site seems to be higher now than it was at any time during the lifetime of the previous design of the site. This is reflected in the higher amount of time visitors are spending on the site as well as an increase in the conversion percentage and the number of overall sales compared to the previous design.