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I have a website that I recently updated. I redesigned most of the website, but there's still some pages and features that are "old." Will this be a bad experience for users when they navigate to a page that hasn't been updated, and they see a different older design?


I noticed this on Google's products and services, too. Many of their products and services have been updated to their new Material Design, but some other pages still have their old look.

This was kind of annoying to me, as their updated pages now save automatically but the old ones didn't. One time, my YouTube settings weren't saved because I was expecting them to save automatically like the new settings pages do.

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It's definitely not a good experience to have different designs on different parts of a website. With a company like Google, it's understandable that their platforms take time to update due to the sheer size of their company.

There's no way on that kind of scale that they could update all their websites overnight - it's been a gradual process for them. There's many reasons for this - one is that their platform has so many business critical components, it must be done with great care.

Also, it really is just the number of assets that they have. The amount of man hours required to re-design, then test and deploy code to all of the Google assets - well that's a pretty big task.

What Google have done is focus on certain projects one at a time, and this is a good strategy to take.

You'll see similar issues with other bigger websites - eBay and Amazon come to mind. Certain aspects of the site have been redesigned very recently, but if you dig hard enough you'll come across older templates.

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Something is usually better than nothing.

In a best case scenario, we would hope to be able to offer the user a cohesive experience across an entire product.

If, however, the product is large, has legacy technology issues, is managed in parts by separate stakeholders, etc. then it may not be possible to redesign/restructure the whole thing in one go.

In these cases it could be argued that improving the user experience in those parts that are open to change is better than doing nothing at all. In fact making those part-changes is likely to increase the pressure to update on the other parts of the product.

In business terms it's always good to have an opening for more work so you can always present your final handover along with some sort of "further recommendations" document outlining all the other changes that you think would be necessary to bring the entire product up to scratch.

There's a great axiom that sums this up - "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water"

  • I feel I should add here (even though it's more of an implementation point) that it's always a good idea to have your developers build in such a way that an interface can be 'reskinned' without too much effort - in other words, a site could be built in such a way that the graphics and a certain amount of the layout could be changed without needing to touch the underlying HTML. – Andrew Martin Aug 3 '16 at 9:11

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