Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Thought on Web Redesigns: Long Term Transitional Design?

"The disaster known as redesigns:

  • Large “Big Box” retailer spent $100,000,000 to redesign website. Launch day: 20% loss in revenues.
  • Large law firm. Redesigned intranet to use MS Sharepoint instead of static HTML. The entire law firm was shut down for three weeks.
  • One of the Top 20 Websites hired a top design firm for a complete UX overhaul. Pageviews decreased on 40% on launch day.
  • United merged with Continental, flipped the switch on website launch. Result: Complaints out the whazoo!"

Read the entry from An Event Apart 2012 here.

When sites relaunch a redesign, users are generally upset or at the very least slightly unsettled at the change. Even if the UX, AI, and Visual Hierarchy is better, it's something different that the user has to adapt too.

My question is: "Is there anyway to grandfather a large user base into a new design?"

Facebook does it which their changes. They don't scare their users with any drastic changes. The large changes are also optional. Facebook's Timeline was a radical change, but users were allowed to try and choose if they wanted it. Slowly Facebook moved towards full timeline integration. As more and more users tried and got used to it, they became motivation for more stubborn users (yeah, you can probably think of those people) who didn't initially want to switch over. Many websites will allow users to try a fully redesigned version before it's release. I'm wondering if it's possible to keep the design modular enough that developers could slowly shift components around over an extended period of time while conducting user tests.

Kind of like a flounder. Except less ugly.

Maybe developers could emphasis modular components of a site to keep it maintainable, but also rearrangeable. If a change deemed itself beneficial for users, developers could shift the design.

If things want to be Responsive, they have to be able to evolve over the long term, not just in the heat of the moment. Future Friendly is an ideal example.

No comments:

Post a Comment