The question of how often your UI/UX should change is a good one to ask.
Someone on Quora recently asked how often UI/UX changes and it made me think about my own UI/UX project experiences where clients have often asked the same question.
The reality is this: there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
In terms of UI/UX, the words “change” and “update” are subjective as these can mean a host of things, including:
- any kind of brand change or makeover
- the addition or removal of product features or content areas
- the evaluation of web analytics, which highlights positive and desirable or confusing and cumbersome user behaviors
- marketing or advertising campaigns that come and go
- senior management, marketing stakeholder, or consumer/user feedback
- marketing technology upgrades, integrations, or optimizations
A business and its marketing are always adapting, evolving, and expanding or contracting depending on market conditions.
Therefore, change (to some or all aspects of UI/UX) is ultimately inevitable as the visual interfaces of a brand’s outward appearance — and the user experience the brand intends to portray/deploy — must support a company’s many iterations and evolving goals and objectives.
The pace, volume, and impetus behind any UI/UX changes, however, is highly dependent on how often or not such changes/updates, as shared in the list above, may occur in any given organization.
Another factor not shared above is budget, of course.
No matter what changes may be occurring, the budget (or lack thereof) will also offer some context as to what UI can or should be changed OR be left unchanged for a period of time.
And yet an additional factor will be priorities.
Often times, a desktop or mobile application is a breathing, living thing with its own growing list of “to dos” despite any such changes taking place. Therefore, balancing the impact of change with budget, and then comparing those “answers” against the already existing list of priorities will help an organization determine how often they can tweak the UI/UX of a given interface.
Because the answers to many of these factors can be subjective and unique per organization, it’s best to have some kind of broad “change framework” that help better manage the answer to your question.
This is kind of rough and super generic but for the purposes of trying to define some kind of response to your inquiry, I’d say you should work on defining what “change” and “update” mean (or don’t mean) in terms of your organization.
- Is change equal to a small refinement (an app or site-wide style change, for example) or,
- … is it a complete restructuring of an interface? A site section? An entire feature (such as a navigational structure, for example)?
My point in sharing the above is that perhaps identifying the buckets of changes and updates may be more helpful than trying to define the volume of changes anticipated because, as shared above, change is inevitable.
No matter how small your company may be … if your company’s marketing is active, if your brand is engaged, if you’re paying to advertise, and if your business is in forward-motion, your UI/UX should be gently or dramatically changing and adjusting over time to reflect these accruements.
Or if you absolutely must define a change-tempo of some sort; like if someone is forcing you to give an answer to this question in terms of a number, you can say something like you anticipate 1 or 2 major changes per year (be specific by defining what “major” means) and about 3–4 small refinements per quarter. Keep it high level and super flexible.
Ultimately, however, your answer will highly depend on how said UI/UX changes may better support marketing and revenue goals, how those changes impact the other scheduled/prioritized changes already in the queue, and how much budget there is (or isn’t) to make UI/UX adjustments.
As always, share any thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading.
Photo credit: Featured blog post created by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson.