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As an organization, we strive to remain competitive and current. With that, we often discuss UI changes and the impacts they have to our user base. A concern we have is the frequency and extent to which we make changes. Are there studies or rules of thumb(s) available that indicate an acceptable length of time before you can introduce UI changes, big or small? If we as an organization have a variety of applications and have enough resources to update one at a time, what is an appropriate amount of time between updates, i.e., how long can one application be updated to a new UI standard while the others remain the original? 12 months? Second, if each update or enhancement we make, big or small, is to make the life easier for our user base, does it matter the frequency in which we make them?

  • I think this should also be driven by insights you have from your users, unless you are an organization on the scale of Google, which seems to make updates whenever it needs/wants to. – Michael Lai Jul 31 '14 at 0:20
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Changes over the UI for every 3-6 months is quite sufficient for a user to know the application & start using it more efficiently & provide you feedback about its pain points. If you check Photoshop update history http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Photoshop_version_history#Version_history You’ll see that they’ve updated software on an average of 6 months. So did Microsoft Office suite, check there WikiPedia article.

But changes in the UI should entirely depend on User feedback & Analytics. Feedback collection modules like 'Report a bug' or 'Suggest a new feature' should be implemented in the application. When a new module suggested by a user, Community can vote that feature. So for the votes received to one particular feature, you can keep a status log where users are informed if such module is being implemented in upcoming version. http://forums.gomockingbird.com/forums/44049-feedback-feature-requests

  • Thanks for the feedback, Suraj. That helps in regards to general updates to the environment as a whole but what I'm most interested in is the appropriate time in which one application is updated to a new UI standard while the others remain the original? It's not possible as an orgainzation of hour size to update everything at once, we have somewhat of a 'silo' environment. Is it acceptable for a user to have different experiences during their workflow because some of the areas of the application they will visit will be updated while others won't. Thanks, again! – user52330 Aug 1 '14 at 14:21
  • are we talking about users in general or a very specific & limited set of users? – Suraj Naik Aug 1 '14 at 15:12
  • Specific user base. They use our applications to do business. Average about 10-14k unique visitors a day. – user52330 Aug 4 '14 at 15:25

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