> Actually, online usability studies have shown time and time again that users have certain expectations, that rather than changing remain fairly static because of more and more websites that we use.
Can you elaborate on this?
> Wow. Then myself and most user experience professionals I know can agree to disagree with you.
I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you. I am simply asking why is it wrong to change a user’s pattern?
> Though even amongst those users, once you get past the gushing “Oh I love the redesign” comments on their redesign post, raise some of the usability concerns that the menu issue especially brings.
I find that the menu could be more visible but personally don’t find it to be an issue at the bottom. It seems to blend into the page more than it should.
> Give me some examples… hell, give me just one example, of a drastic usability change that has become “the norm”?
Back in the flash days, users couldn’t select text to copy/paste, websites were even slower, couldn’t print, etc. It has become the “norm” to advocate against Flash based content and because of that, usability has changed for the better. Remember splash pages? 30 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.
Oh and what about the physical qwerty keyboard? Touch displays drastically changed that and is actually a bit more difficult to use (in my opinion) but they’ve become incredibly popular and the “norm”.
> For a major site, you’d be a fool to not do extensive research first. You run the very real risk of losing users. And it’s happened on many occasions.
I absolutely agree here. Especially when a site profits from their content.
I think CSS-Tricks is a good example when it comes to UX and usability. I think many of us dislike some of the design decisions that have gone on throughout the years. In fact, I’ve only liked one out all that I’ve seen and been a part of. What keeps me coming back? What makes me deal with my dislike of the layout structure of the content and still come back to read it? This is what I think @JoshWhite is trying to say. We just get used to it. Chris doesn’t do studies from what I understand so with these drastic changes (which were random in the past) and disliked by many, it’s odd that we’re still here. This is what leads me to believe that content is so much more important.