This seems to be a hot trend nowadays at many software companies: Drastically changing the user interface (UI) every few months.
In fact, this happens frequently to several of the cloud software applications we use internally at our company.
There are many reasons companies do such major changes frequently: Modernizing the UI, improving user experience, making it prettier, making it more social, making it look more like Facebook, etc.
While most of these goals are well-intentioned, I believe a lot of the companies are forgetting one important thing…
Don’t Forget the “User” in “User Interface”
Often the UI is so drastically changed to the point where experienced users can’t figure out how to do basic tasks they’ve been doing for a while. This leads to user frustration and loss of productivity.
This is especially true for cloud software. Why so?
At least with traditional (download & install) software, users can choose when to switch to the new version. With cloud software, users are force-fed the latest version.
What To Do Instead?
I believe the best way for Business Analysts, Product Managers & UI Designers to approach this scenario is as follows:
Implement UI changes gradually and over time.
While this makes it harder for those who build the software – it makes it easier for the users.
Gradual changes allow the users to much more easily acclimate themselves to the new UI – over time, and without significant productivity loss. As a result, doing gradual changes to your UI is more considerate & user-friendly.
In fact, this is why we’ve made this a part of our promise to Accompa customers (see #5). Think about this & make a conscious decision when it comes to major UI redesigns. Your users will thank you!
To your success…