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10

Jennifer Morrow (part of the Firefox user experience design team) wrote a pretty detailed blog post about removing the Firefox status bar in 2010. As already mentioned, the aim was to remove the unnecessary "chrome" from the Firefox UI. I'd recommend you read the whole post. A short extract: The goal is to find places where chrome can be minimized, both ...


8

It gives the users a sense of control. Rather than having new changes get forced upon them (which they eventually will anyway) it allows those who are curious to check it out, and maybe even suggest the new version to others. While either way they may not be very receptive to the new changes, at least they will have a slight sense of power in that ...


8

When it comes to existing products and users, I tend to be in the 'Tweak, don't redesign' camp. By that I mean that instead of redesigning in such a way as to possibly alienate existing users, instead break down the planned improvements into a series of standalone changes. Then look at what you might consider to be tweaks - the simplest changes that might ...


6

It doesn't necessarily help them adapt, it does help them in choosing when to spend the time to do so and not having the change forced upon them when it might be terribly inconvenient to figure out where things went...


5

From my own experience I have found that an application can outlive the developers that wrote it and in this case, it is often the users who know the system better than the team that is supporting it. The problem is then that when the user has problems there is no one better off to help. I recently wrote an internal application and with this in mind, one ...


4

They don't want to fix it, since it ain't broken. Point out that usability work actually involves functionality and not just eye-candy. Increased usability will lead to increased efficiency. Usability engineering! Short description: Establish some measurable goals for the ux-factors of the system and work towards these goals by iterative design (prototype ...


4

We redesign sites for non-profits to add usability, accessibility, standards and train their people to maintain using these. We work hard to keep a similar Look and Feel, keeping any colors that pass contrast, not redoing logos, if they have top/left/right navigation, keeping the navigation in same spot, just improving it's use and structure. The sites ...


4

One issue that comes to mind is accessibility - with a non-negligible percent of color blind people, you have to add another distinction (the strike through and underline). While one color might differentiate from the standard based simply on hue, differentiation more that that will be a challenge. Don't forget that a lot of documents get printed in ...


3

Chrome was a major change in browsers. The major change it brought was screen space. Where IE and FF came from desktop apps and windows Chrome removed a significant amount of the 'Chrome' surrounding the window. The only thing it cared about was getting as much of the Web page displayed as possible. Chrome was backed by Google and achieving massive growth ...


3

To Roger Attrill's excellent answer (tweak, don't completely redo) I add: if you do make more major changes, also provide clues for existing users, such as double-encoding things. For a non-software example consider what happens when they rename/renumber exits on major highways: for a while you get signage like "New Name (Old Name)" and "Exit 79 (old exit ...


3

For some organsiations - specifically two that I work for, gradual enhancement is the practical reality of managing their websites, while a complete rebuild might be a long term vision. Take organisation number 1. Huge site, vast number of users across various segments, millions of visitors each month. Given the complexity of the business, internal and ...


3

You asked 'when' and 'how'. When Break conventions when you have convincing arguments for your new method being dramatically better in a heavy use area. If use is light, then the cost of learning the new method outweighs the small gain. It's nearly always power users, i.e. the heavy users, that motivates your convention breaking. You need enthusiasm ...


2

I'm afraid this is one of the fundamental issues in educating a client as to the relevance of the user's expereience with their product - ie a failure to understand (or even be aware of) the benefits of analyzing and providing a good (or great) user experience. Getting buy-in from a client, or from management, or marketing is very hard if they do not see ...


2

I think that the only way to answer the question "when is it ok to challenge an accepted convention" is to do real user testing with real users. Get a group of people that represent your user's and give them some tasks using mock ups of the changes and see if they get it. This is also a good example where user comments and opinions would not be valuable but ...


2

In my experience, alot of redesigns are spurred by new hires. "I am the new sheriff in town and I want to redesign the website!" Sometimes it's based on a new product launch like, "We are changing all those other pages, why not refresh the look." Personally, I change my blog theme once in a while because I get bored with it. Summary: Most redesigns have ...


2

We run into this issue all the time where I work. We come up with improvements on how to do things better and are often met with resistance from upper management. Check out this question which should give you some guidance on how to go about this.


2

My advice: DON'T! Alas, what you describe is a nearly universal problem in any team structure that depends on wireframes as a source document for everything else. IMHO, wireframes are meant to get ideas down on paper. It's a rough sketch. Easy to quickly modify early and get everyone's ideas folded in. At that point, it's a baseline document for the UX ...


2

Perhaps this is the article you are referring to? Lots of people are upset by the recent changes that Facebook made to its website. The look is a little different, and things function a little differently. This has caused people to rant and rave and some are even boycotting the site. What's going on? Actually, the reactions are a very common human ...


2

One thing which wasn't mentioned so far: In case of productivity tools like GDocs, it is a very likely scenario that you arrive to the app to get some urgent work done. If you are greeted with a completely new UI while the deadline is there, you would probably just want the old UI back in an instant and wish to be let alone finishing your task.


2

I suppose it can be a way to get some feedback on the new design, and understand what proportion of their users like the changes ( or more to the point, how many people don't like it, as most people will just accept the new style ). It gives them a chance to modify or adapt before they role out the new style for everyone.


2

Your question speaks to change management more than UX design - the issue you confront affects many different parts of a project. It may well be that existing users need orientation to a new design - so provide it. Anything from help documentation with FAQs on the new interface to a 30 minute webinar (live or recorded) can all help existing users. Be aware ...


2

Ideas taken from: http://www.uie.com/articles/radical_redesign If you change your shortcuts, your most avid users will be the ones affected by the change. Be careful about taking something away that they've put the time and effort into learning. Don't make them feel stupid about something they felt smart about. Your options include: Having both the old ...


2

I agree with you that Google is intentionally discouraging the use of Delete over Archive. Whether there is a nefarious reason behind this is impossible to know unless you are a Google employee. However, there are enough evidence to show you that the intent is deliberate. In the Inbox list view, if you swipe left OR right, they BOTH lead to "Archive" ...


2

I agree with Rayraegah that you must think iteratively with legacy projects. I am heading up the UX and design of a similar legacy revamp. Our product has two luxuries yours may not: 1. A suite of various products that do not rely on each other (users may use one or a handful of the 20 available, but not all of them) and 2. an infrequent usage per user ...


1

A simple approach you can utilize is the top notification bar which is visible to users as they log in or come to the page as thats the first thing they would notice due to the color differential. Stackoverflow uses it quite frequently as shown below. You could also use the idea of movement or small animation to ensure that users attention is drawn to it ...


1

The on-site part: Perform the redirect, then based on the http referrer, decided to show a message. I'd go for something simple, but it depends on the amount of direct vs search traffic the acquired site had. If it is almost only search traffic, you could place a message, something like: Looking for acquiredSite.com? Read more. If traffic is much more ...


1

Some thoughts on the transition and compatibility: Let the user choose whether he wants the new functionality or not - i.e. make sure that they know what they are getting into with the update. Let the user choose if he wants to replace the old key-combo for the new functionality. I think no scope of customization will be a bad idea for the application. ...


1

While some changes (for example making the whole UI take up less vertical space) indeed look like they copy Chrome, it is a trend almost all browsers followed. However, it is in face changed user hardware, namely the growing predominance of widescreen displays and the consequent higher importance of vertical screen space, that induced this change - Chrome ...


1

A change in the UX is not necessarily bad; good designers think about not only their existing user base but also their business strategy and new users who they want to attract. Their decision process would probably have considered the possible inconvenience to their existing user base weighed against the increase in usability for new users. A number of the ...


1

Having a canonical place for wireframes is the best way to avoid confusion. I tend to split up wireframes into features. Im generally working on one feature / section of the site at a time, and that avoids the giant master document problem. If you're communicating them to developers, upload the wireframe to the story the devs are working on. When you update ...



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