We’re upgrading to Magento 2; should we redesign?

If you’re moving to Magento 2, the latest version of the hugely popular eCommerce platform, you may be feeling a bit daunted about what you need to do to your website to get the most out of all those new features. But at Natural Interaction, where we've worked closely with Magento experts The Pixel on several ecommerce redesigns, we’re really excited about what it now offers in terms of user experience customisation. It’s time to stop worrying and get excited; Magento 2 unleashes the power of principal-led design. This allows you to roll out your brand, vision and unique customer journey across your website, no matter who a user is or what device they’re using. So while it might sound daunting to redevelop your site from scratch, it’s a great chance to strengthen your brand, improve your UX and boost sales.

Do I need to redesign?

While upgrading to Magento 2 means your front end will need redeveloping from scratch, you won’t necessarily need to redesign. Here are some key questions to ask when you’re making the decision:

  • When did you last redesign?
  • Does your site work on mobile, tablet and desktop?
  • How do your conversion rates differ across devices?
  • When did you last user test?
  • Does your site reflect your current branding?
  • Is there any budget?

What’s changed technically with M2?

The new Magento structure has some key differences to the older version.

Modular structure

M2’s UI library is modular. That’s great news because it means huge flexibility. Every user interface element can be customised individually to suit your UX needs and branding, from navigation, text and form elements to loading indicators. This means you can create consistent interactions that can be used across your site. That’s crucial from a user experience perspective because users appreciate consistency – it’s how they learn.

Javascript framework

M2’s new codebase uses a single Javascript framework. This means that some interactive elements of your website may need to be rebuilt or reimagined. No need to panic though, there are big advantages to be had. The Javascript framework allows you to bring a touch of magic to the mundane with dynamic interactions.

Improved accessibility

The M2 UI library now uses semantically correct HTML5, meaning the platform is more accessible, making it easier to meet your legal obligation to serve disabled users, an important customer segment. 97% of disabled people aged 16 to 24 use the internet regularly, and since 2015, the number of disabled adults who have used the internet in the last three months has increased by 6.8% to 8.6 million.

Responsive design

Magento 2 is responsive out of the box, always detecting the device a user is on and displaying content accordingly. That means that your responsive design does need to scale depending on screen size, from mobile to tablet to desktop, but the good news is there’s no longer any need for a dedicated mobile site. This will make it easier and simpler to maintain your site and make changes. So if your design isn’t already mobile optimised, you need to consider how it works for users on mobile and tablet.

What’s changing in the wider world?

Magento’s new features are part of a wider trend in online behaviour and design as people increasingly use multiple devices to navigate the web. 51% of online retail sales in the UK happen via mobile and 40% of smartphone and tablet users search for B2B services. But this trend goes beyond the need to make your website mobile-friendly. You need your content and features to work seamlessly across platforms. 67% of all online shoppers now navigate between multiple devices before making a transaction, and according to Google, 65% of consumers start a purchase on their smartphone then complete the transaction on another device. Google is in the process of introducing a separate mobile index that they have indicated will be given precedence over other search results.

Practically, this means that mobile-friendly content will do better in search results than non-mobile friendly content. Plus, sites that restrict content based on screen size will be penalised. Any content or features you invest in should be made available via your responsive site; good news if you’re using Magento 2 because it has responsive design at its core.

Want to understand more about the possibilities offered by Magento 2 and how to unlock them for your website? Get in touch.

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