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A project I'm working on involves the creation of a new site that will host around 80% of the content of an old one. The content will disappear from the old site, and become solely available on the new site that we're designing, while the old site will be maintained for a period of time with that 20% of remaining content. How could we redirect our users to the new site if/when they land on the old one? The options that we have discussed are:

  1. Automatic redirection based on the google search -if it's relative to the migrated content.
  2. Lightbox/Prompt to every user who accesses the old site with a link to the new site.
  3. Allocating a good portion of the old site's homepage to inform users about the new site.
  4. A combination of the aforementioned.

All these have pros and cons. Any best practices or recommendations for making the transition easier/natural for the users?

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Is there any specific reason people will want to visit the old site ? –  Mervin Johnsingh Aug 27 '13 at 10:02
    
To access the remaining 20% of the content (focuses in other countries). They might access it because this site has been available for almost 10 years. –  EdGG Aug 27 '13 at 10:38
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Jared M. Spool would argue that subtle evolution causes much less user backlash. A safer approach is to very slowly change any public-facing behavior (though massive back-end changes are fine, if invisible to users). –  Brian Aug 27 '13 at 14:53
    
Great article (thanks for that), but I'm afraid subtle evolution is next to impossible at this stage. –  EdGG Aug 28 '13 at 7:40
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this question is in a similar vein and may help you out: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/41673/… - my answer talks about a gradual transfer, I didn't want to repeat myself here –  Toni Leigh Aug 28 '13 at 18:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As old site still exists, you shouldn't just redirect users to the new site. So I suggest reasoning by analogy.

Suppose you have a pair of shoes. It's old but convient and familiar. Next day on your birthday you've received a new pair of shoes, so it wasn't your choice. What does push you to use the new shoes? It should be some meaningful to you, some that convinces you to make choice by youself. Waterprotected? Slimproof? No laces? Great! Now it's your choice. And some time later the new shoes could almost completely replace oldies. No external push, no pain, full control and persuasion minimize resistance and frictions in switching to the new shoes.

So take the great user experience from physical world around you and implement it in your task.

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to continue the shoe analogy, we often wear our new shoes and break them in while still wearing the old shoes for a while, eventually completely moving over to the new shoes. A similar thing can be done with a website, such as the way FaceBook moved people over to the timeline, i.e. let your users choose to check out the new site while providing access to the old, but also providing a deadline for complete switch over - the UK digital TV switch-over is a good example of this –  Toni Leigh Aug 27 '13 at 19:26
    
@ColinSharpe, indeed, nothing new in this world. Just pick it and transform for the digital world. –  Alexey Kolchenko Aug 27 '13 at 20:16

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