Every single website and software falls for the same trap. They decide to make a massive update. Not an essential update relating to security, but an aesthetic one that ruins the experience and sends visitors fleeing for the hills.
Imagine if one day that Google revamps their homepage and takes away the all-encompassing white page simplicity? Can you imagine the uproar? Well that happens all the time, and websites keep doing it oblivious to not only their visitors discontent but to their own impending demise.
I remember when it seemed like a world without Digg could not be imagined. Then one day they updated their site for the sake of updating. Now where’s Digg? They dugg their own grave. I used that website a lot back in the day, one massive change later and I left, as did many others. Enough to bring the site to its knees. Facebook continues to piss off and alarm everyone with each of their changes. Every website does this, self-propagating counter-intuitiveness not because they were asked by their visitors, but because of some delusional need to do it.
Every year I keep finding my regular haunts updating for no discernible reason other than for the sake of it. A website I visit, an app I use on my phone or computer, one day it’s all changed, and rarely ever for the better. In fact off the top of my head the only site changes I can think of that are beneficial to a website are when they decide to revamp their archaic commenting system with Disqus. The ability to edit and sort through replies is convenient, and Disqus provides that feature.
But like I say, the vast majority of sites mess up. They sabotage themselves. Maybe they’ve done secret surveys that are telling them to make these frivolous changes to hook more visitors, but judging by the reactions of existing visitors with each change, you’d be hard pressed to tell what good the changes are doing.
This rant was inspired by my favourite sites constantly changing their layouts, forcing readers to scroll and click excessively, and I’m not liking it. It’s ridiculous and off-putting. A stark contrast to the mythical ‘three-click rule‘.
Just wait till Google changes their simple homepage with clutter, the outrage and exodus will be epic and inevitable. Nothing lasts forever, and impromptu change is sometimes as desirable as a visitor to your home misplacing your furniture. On purpose.