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Revolutionary vs Evolutionary design: Effective online store redesign

Revolutionary vs Evolutionary design:  Effective online store redesign

Increasing conversion by 55% without new revolutionary design is an example of a new usability trend. Redesign of an online store can be performed by means of global changes or through step-by-step interface enhancements. Each of these approaches proved its effectiveness under different conditions. In this article we are going to outline our vision of effective redesign with the help of ESR and RSR strategies and explain how each of them can affect revenue.

Revolutionary Site Redesign (RSR)

RSR implies redesign of an entire website in one shot on an average cycle of five years: complete stylistic update, functionality review, usability improvement. Basically, a new revolutionary design of the online store is developed.

When is Revolutionary design right for your business?

Here is a list of indicators that show the need of scrapping the online store website and rebuilding it from scratch:

  • low website profitability;
  • technical characteristics of the website no longer meet modern requirements;
  • correction of usability errors gives rise to new ones;
  • the website has not been updated for 5 years;
  • improvements that don’t resonate with the general style of the site were introduced.

These indicators signal about the necessity of turning to a UX expert who will give a professional assessment of the current website.

What is the procedure?

Revolutionary site redesign implies many stages:

  • Collection of metrics, development of the structure that can be scaled up during the next five years;
  • Creation of the website architecture;
  • Development of the interface taking into account the characteristics of the old version and results of the UX audit;
  • Creation of a new style.

The Revolutionary design approach was chosen for redesigning the online store Baku Electronics.

The old design is on the left, and on the right you can see the new interface and new design.

The old design is on the left, and on the right you can see the new interface and new design

Let’s take a look at the diagram of the effectiveness of this approach.

Evolutionary design

Revolutionary Site Redesign

Experience has shown that the cycle repeats itself every five years. The website design becomes outdated and its effectiveness decreases. This is the time when complete renovation/redesign of the online store is needed.

Disadvantages of RSR:

  • Intermittent website development: periods of the maximum effectiveness are replaced by stagnation times, which gives advantage to the competitors.
  • Revolutionary design involves substantial costs.
  • Implementation of a new design requires significant investment of time (starting from several months).
  • High level of engagement in the project by the top management of the business is required.
  • There are risks connected with the consequences of the fundamental changes of the website, for example, temporary decrease in conversions.

Advantages of RSR:

  • Allows for taking a quantum leap in business growth.
  • Allows for introduction of modern trends and technologies.
  • Dramatic redesign helps stand out among competitors.
  • Online store redesign can become an effective marketing tool.

In 2020, when most websites have already gone through global changes and interfaces have adopted modern patterns, RSR is replaced by ESR (Evolutionary Site Redesign).

Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR)

ESR implies using smart A/B testing strategies in order to gradually improve the interface by creating incremental updates. Thus, once the operational framework has been created and tested on users, only stylistics needs to be updated.

When is Evolutionary design right for your business?

If your online store is a well-functioning profitable mechanism, and evolutionary changes entail more risks than benefits, start the process of improving the online store usability.

The indicators signaling about the feasibility of applying ESR:

  • you don’t like certain aspects of the website functioning;
  • customers’ reviews reveal shortcomings in the interface;
  • you are planning to expand the business;
  • there is a need for innovating the functionality;
  • you have established business and organizational processes, and the time has come to take care of usability;
  • your competitors constantly improve their website design.

What is the procedure?

1) Usability testing

With the help of UX audit, mistakes in the interface design are detected, and their list is made according to their criticality. Areas with the highest growth potential are identified; special tools for testing the website usability are used; hypotheses are generated.

2) Elimination of the most critical errors

Such mistakes affect the conversion rate the most. Outdated blocks are replaced by new ones, new elements are added, functionality is expanded, extra steps are deleted –– optimization of conversion of the online store takes place.

3) Update of the website style

After the correction of all the critical mistakes and website optimization the process of the style update –– redesign –– takes place. It doesn’t involve risks, since all the significant changes have already been introduced and tested, and now only the appearance, not the structure of the online store, is going to change.

Here is an Evolutionary design example –– an improvement of the “Checkout” page operation on the website of the large network of shoe stores Intertop.

We detected a number of mistakes on the checkout page: too many fields, non-intuitive selection of delivery and payment methods, no prompts for input fields, uninformative “Thank you for your order” page, etc.

Old version of the checkout page on the Intertop.ua website

Old version of the checkout page on the Intertop.ua website

We shortened the way to the order placement for the customer and completely updated the checkout page in accordance with the modern patterns of customer behavior.

New checkout page on the Intertop.ua website

New checkout page on the Intertop.ua website

As a result of A/B testing, the conversion rate of the new checkout page increased by 54,68% as compared to the previous version of the purchase page.

ESR Effectiveness Diagram

The following image presents measured step-by-step interface improvements:

Revolutionary Site Redesign

Evolutionary design

Thus, ESR makes it possible to get the profit that couldn’t be received earlier because of the interface and functionality mistakes.

There are cases when the funds spent on the interface improvement return to the customer as profit at the stage of A/B testing of the design variants.


  • optimization of the online store conversion goes on faster thanks to the correction of the critical mistakes and usability improvement.
  • expenditures on the redesign of the online store are distributed evenly. Sometimes the subsequent costs are covered by the profit from the first updates. This happens thanks to the customers who would earlier fall out of the sales pipeline because of the usability mistakes.
  • risks arising from redesign are minimized, since when the changes are step-by-step, it is easier to track their effectiveness and introduce corrections, if necessary.
  • If you decide to update the outdated style, you will not have to change the structure, whose every element has already been tested on the customers.

Evolutionary design approach considerably reduces the risks connected with redesign. And the result depends to a large extent on the level of interaction inside the whole team working on the project. Business owner, designer, developer, SEO specialist –– maximal involvement is required from each participant, otherwise quality suffers.

Revolutionary vs Evolutionary design: which approach to choose?

We have told you about the indicators that help make the choice of this or that redesign strategy.

Here is a comparative table that will make them more illustrative.


Revolutionary design


Evolutionary design

When is it good for your business

Unprofitable / not cost-effective online store

  Successful online store that has certain weak spots

  Design has not been updated for the last 5 years

  Design has been updated in the course of the last 5 years

  When one interface mistake is corrected, new ones appear

  Usability mistakes are easily corrected without structural changes

Characteristic features

  Entire redesign

  Step-by-step improvements

  Big investments in the short term

  Expenditures are evenly distributed over time and are paid off quite quickly

  Long implementation times

  Changes are dynamic, the results are visible soon

  Global changes are always risky

  Evaluation of results takes place after every update stage, which reduces the risks

Intermittent website development. The site might not be able to keep pace with the competitors until the time for a new redesign comes

  Continuous improvement supports the website effectiveness

What is the stage of development of your online store?

The best associates in the matter of choosing the strategy will be analytic data and expert opinion. Start with a UX audit and you will get a detailed report about the weak spots of your site that will help you make a rational decision, if revolution or evolution is needed in your particular case.

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