“Does It Work?” Is The New “How Does It Look?”

In the now 3-year old article titled “The Quiet Death of the Major Re-Launch,” Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering (UIE) explores how major redesigns to your Web site may do more harm than good. Mr.

Columns From: 9/1/2006 Modern Machine Shop, ,

In the now 3-year old article titled “The Quiet Death of the Major Re-Launch,” Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering (UIE) explores how major redesigns to your Web site may do more harm than good. Mr. Spool uses his consulting company’s experiences with clients and famous Web site strategies to push the premise of “Subtle Evolution.”

Instead of a major revamping and overhauling of the look and the structure of an entire site (which can tax your organization’s resources and ultimately confuse the prospects visiting your site), he favors Subtle Evolution. This means making incremental changes within a site to improve service, functionality and quality/volume of information.

Most people still react to information in traditional ways. In the case of Web sites, businesses will instinctively approach a Web project as though it were a brochure or a catalog. However, the Web not only delivers information on demand, it should also allow for that information to be demanded—as conveniently and as effortlessly as possible.

According to UIE studies, most Web users rate the consistency of a site not by its visual characteristics but upon whether it works or not. In short, few care about the consistency of the design but more about “does it work?”.

This “gradual evolution” of Web site maintenance and development is employed by the big boys. It can also greatly serve the strategies of your business by spreading out costs and allowing your resources the time to develop wisely. UIE offers example of how some of the most successful dot-com survivors have thrived through this form of development. Included in the article are examples from Amazon, eBay and others.

For a link to the article, visit MMS’ On The Web (OTW) blog at www.mmsonline.com/otw.

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