Why Some Apps and Websites Never Changed UI

User Interface Google
User Interface Google

The Google search “user interface” has been the same for over 17 years now. The simple text search box with a button for Google search and “I’m feeling lucky”. That’s it. Nothing has changed at all.

Feeling Lucky
Feeling Lucky

Same for iOS and similarly for Instagram, etc.

Media properties go through several changes every 12 to 18 months. Some even undergo changes more frequently than that.

Why do some websites and apps – Facebook, etc. change so often and have the users go through the pain of learning the new experience?

And why do some services NEVER change at all even after user feedback about their experience.

The basic user interface theory suggests that once your user / customer knows how to make something work, they like it and get used to it. After that it is hard for them to change. Many of your users may not even like the change, since it forces them to learn new things and be productive at the same time.

I have a theory of User interfaces, which is just a theory, but I’d love contrasting opinions on this. I believe that most users dont care about the User interface. They care about the experience and want it to be seamless, easy to understand and simple.

Which means, they expect the complexity to be hidden.

As an example the search input for Google has not changed, but the response pages have dramatically changed over the years.

From a simple list of blue links, now, Google provides contextual and relevant information.

That means the search engine has changed a lot (in the back end), but the complexity is largely hidden from the user.

Which is the reason why most apps in the future wont have a User Interface is my belief.

The user interfaces we know of are mostly there or will be there soon. Learning new interfaces will take us a long time.

A combination of micro services and service based apps, will result in the death of mobile apps and pretty much most apps.

The input elements for apps will likely be questions (business apps) or statements (communications) via voice, gestures, etc.

The output elements will have multiple levels of detail (overview, specifics and detail) and while I think they will evolve, they will start to coalesce around the known.

I’d love to know if you think I am wrong.

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