He will leave if you don’t tell him where to go- Failure of Rediff.com Redesign

Rediff did a redesign recently and that received criticism from all over. Here is a view at where Rediff went wrong.

Rediff was not unknown to anyone who had been using the Internet for sometime. And then Rediff did a redesign followed by heavy promotion with TVCs and banner ads. A TVC in India will always get you new users. People who do use the Internet but are still exploring sites to settle with. And specially when you are a content site the user is actually looking to kill time with you. So what does he do when he has finished reading one article? He looks for more links to click on, more content. He wants to choose from a given set of links (options). But when he finds very little options he believes he is at a bad place. Its like going shopping. Although you need to buy only one, you still want to see more before you decide. But when the shop keeper cant show you more, you simply leave. The suave users know what they want and will look exactly for that but TVC does not fetch you such users.  The number of links on pages of Rediff has been reduced largely and that means a reduced number of options. When the user finds no places to click he simply quits the site and looks for another site which offers him more links to kill more time. This is clearly visible as there is no rise in Rediff’s traffic even after a huge promotion campaign. Number of links on homepage:

  • Rediff- 73
  • In.com- 177
  • Indiatimes-324

The lesser number of options does reduce the clutter but that is again for the more suave users who will any how find the right way to get to the right place, they need not be shown directions and also they are the ones who wont get you any advertising revenues as they know the difference between a  sponsored link and a usual link. The type of audience that TVC is going to get you are actually very easy to handle, he already trusts you because you were on TV, now you can make them buy just by throwing some choices. He is here to buy, spend money (read, time), so all you need to do is give him choices to do so. You shouldn’t confuse clutter with more options. You can always give more options and keep it ordered and sorted to avoid the clutter. So the design may not exactly be a fail but there is a mismatch between the promotion campaign, target audience and the design. The positioning “Just your stuff” would have better suited if Rediff had implemented some of these suggestions but currently i see “Just no stuff”. 😉 pic credit

[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]

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