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The longevity of websites


Photo used with kind permission from Loriann Morris

One of my favourite phrases is: “Some might feel the Internet is maturing and slowing down. It is not. It moves ever faster every day and so does the erratic behaviour of the users”.

And I believe this… but that is the Internet from my vantage point as a digital professional with the luxury of bleeding edge insight from my colleagues at the IBM Customer Experience Lab.

But today my view on the Internet being this insane light-speed bullet train was stopped right in its tracks: I came across a website I designed in 2005 and other than the content it has remain largely unchanged.

And that has been bugging me all day: Why hasn’t it changed?

Here’s a few reasons I’ve cooked up in my head (using the current heat wave to facilitate the cooking):

  • The site targets the older demographic of the population
    (however, it was the customers who encouraged the original site to be designed).
  • A re-design project is a both costly and taxing exercise for the company.
  • The site is not being used that much
    (but the content indicates differently as it has clearly been kept up-to-date and grown quite a lot).
  • The site is so familiar to the customers that changing it might have a significant negative impact on sales
    (gradual changes/improvements should still be possible).
  • The site still feels new and fresh to both owners and customers… after all it is not even 10 years old.

Maybe it is a combination of the above summed up as: It it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If you have any similar examples of pods like this where time seems to be standing still, I’d love to head about them.

They might be hidden or ignored by us digital professionals but that doesn’t mean that ¬†they, or the user behaviour/ details/ business reasons surrounding them aren’t important.


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