I am sure many of us have faced this problem before. As the only UX designer in a mid-size organization, I am facing a few challenges while executing projects. The organization has a legacy web based system for internal and external (End) customers in order to sell products. There is very little thinking/rationale behind the existing design and usability.
While for new projects we are trying to take care of the essential aspects of usability and user experience, there seems to be 'Chicken or Egg' type of situation. If I use something in one project, it does not suit in other project. So, if something is being newly designed (on feature level or new product level), I have to consider what already exists. The difference between my design and existing design can be observed right from fonts, button styles, using popups or inpage components, confirmation, feedback message type styles, color schemes and more. But until and unless we stop using it, we cannot use new ones and this breaks consistency. The users are mostly non-tech-web-savy above 35+ type of users, so the transition from existing interfaces might matter and we may lose business if not done properly. There are 3 type of solutions I can think of:
- Continue using current system (but Its useless, non-appealing, non-scalable and will not serve for more time. Moreover I won’t enjoy like this as this is not what I am getting paid off)
- Build a new fresh system (though I will love this, it will be expensive and more over time consuming. Its very hard and next to impossible to convenience team for this)
- Have a mix (but then experience will not be consistent. On the same page it will have two buttons with two different styles and many things like this. It will a chaos rather than good mix)
Considering all this, how to have smooth transition from old interfaces to better (expecting strategic point of view here)