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?
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