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I am designing a site with 3 basic skins. Each skin corresponds to a "team". Generally these teams face off about once a week or so in major tournaments, and one of the 3 teams will always win.

For my site, would it be better to automatically re-skin for a week to the winning team's skin (still very generic, just color scheme mostly), or allow users a choice to use whichever skin they personally prefer?

Added Info:

  • Skin 1 - Purple; alien-esque color scheme, very dark
  • Skin 2 - Golden; almost heavenly-being styled scheme
  • Skin 3 - Red; based around human beings
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I was thinking reskinning could be a novel way to keep the site feeling up-to-date, as even people who prefer a certain "team" are still ok with the others 99.9% of the time (and the biased .1% are users we really don't want anyways) –  Nrgdallas Nov 28 '12 at 18:39
    
I'm not sure this question is much of a fit for this site. You're asking for an opinion on what people think would be better, but there is no usability problem here. In terms of your question though, I wouldn't provide an option for the user to change the theme. It's an extra action that they don't really need to do. If you did do it, make sure you provide a lengthy cookie to remember their choice, otherwise it will become a UX problem! :) –  Daniel Meade Nov 28 '12 at 18:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I can't refer to any exact science on that.

My analysis is like that:

  • if you assign automatically the winning team's color, that would be an award to the winning team.
  • most ppl like variation unless it is deterring or confusing. as in your case, all of the icons or other staffs are remaining same except color tone, it will be enjoyable.
  • However, you also need to give option, as 'user preference', to turn that off. By default, it will be on.
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I like the "opt-out" ability you suggest. In the end, this question boils down to whether or not this makes sense as a reward for participating the OP's site. –  kontur Dec 14 '12 at 9:46

Let the user pick a skin and stick with it. If you frequently change the appearance of your site, you'll lower your its brand familiarity (aka "Q-score").

If users are familiar with your site, it will improve their recall of information from it and make it less likely that they'll listen to information about competitor sites. If you repeatedly meet users' expectations, you will increase their satisfaction with your site and affect their "repurchase behavior," which means increasing the likelihood that they'll return to your site.

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