Here is a nice, sparkly, new Vlog.
One of the topics I moaned about on my reccent video, was the change of the YouTube homepage. Something that I am not a fan of. I understand why a site may need to update its stylings every so often, but sometimes those changes are for the worse. Maybe not in the eyes of who manages the site in question, but for the users.
It has been proven that if a user accesses a site, and finds their favourite features removed and the site has changed beyond all recognition, they will leave the site. Why? Well, like anything, people use a service they feel familiar with and then the user will create some personal connection with the site. This is good for whoever runs the site, because any users who make a connection with a site, they will become repeated users. Which is a good thing for any site, as you can probably guess.
The issue with having users so personally attatched to a website, is that these people are resistant to change. Whilst they may accept subtle changes, here and there, if the site undergoes a complete overhaul, there is a chance the frequent users will stop using the service. It is a risk, a risk that the site creator needs to evaluate fully before they make any changes. Some sites even go to the lengths of asking their users, what they would like to see on the site.
But what are the main things could put people off a site, if it where to be changed?
1)Colour. Although this seems unimportant in the grand scheme of the site and what it is used for, the colour is what people first notice about the site, and if it is changed to something on the other side of the colour spectrum, it could bewilder users. The best example of this is probably Facebook. The site is designed in blue and white, and without looking too much into the content of the site, most of its users will recognise it based on colour, without reading anything on the actual web page. The colours have become part of the brand identity of Facebook, so it is important for that to stay on the site, no matter what changes is made. It is actually proven, that you can get away with changing a site subtly (moving columns around,etc) as long as the colour is the same, because it is still familiar.
2)Logo. Every website online has some kind of logo. A logo which allows a user to instantly recognise what it is that they are using. Whenever you go onto a website, most users will automatically look at the top of the page, to see the logo. Something which adds familiarity onto a site, and is something that will stick in the mind of a user. It is why Logos are used for all businesses, it is an easy way to advertise. If you have a really good logo, it will become embedded in a client’s mind, and the client will use the service again. On a website, a logo can sometimes be a little bit of personality, to allow a person to become attached to the site or business.
3)Features. If you have people visiting a website, it is usually because they are there for a specific purpose. If the site owner re-sites some of the features, this could confuse some users and could put them off from visiting again. Usually, if it is something simple such as changing the font, or the arrangement of a particular column, then people will accept the changes, and move on. But, if you do something such as remove something from the main screen, then you have the chance that they could become lost, and the effort of figuring out a new way of doing things, can make someone go elsewhere. The best, most recommended, way to do any major changes, is to put a guide on the main page, telling people how to find features if they have been re-sited. If you get rid of a feature, again, be honest with the user and let them know what’s happened. If you are upfront and honest, the client will make that personal connection with you, and there is more chance of them sticking around the service.
To me those are the three main things that are normally changed on a site, and why I think they could put off people. Normally if you provide a really good service, you will get away of making changes to the site, but be aware its not always the case. If you do want to change things, make the changes subtle, or even query your users. Whatever you do, keeping clients in the ‘loop’ will keep them on your side, and should see you lose minimal business.