The Version History of a website

How great is that – tracking the changes made to a website not a sense of content, but in functionality. Since websites are not longer just containers of content it makes perfect sense.

Is it interesting to the visitor? Sure, here are a couple of reasons:

Feature Discovery
Just like you are interested what are the latest features your favorite app has, website visitors are interested what they can do on your website. Especially if you have a lot of functionality that is not immediately visible.

Help Documentation
While you add more and more functionality a website might need help documentation – it becomes in the end more and more an application. The Version History keeps a log of what features might need to be added to the help section or which description might be out of date.

Showing that you listen to users
By having a version history you can show that you listen to suggestions of your users. Not all new features might be inspired by visitors to your site, but many will be and giving credit is a transparent way of showing your commitment.

Reduces feature redundancy
It also gives you a place where you can look up if a similar feature might be already in place. If you are part of a big website with multiple developers and units the chances are high that you don’t know all the functionality of the whole website – and you might want to add something which is already there. Even if the site is small you might take over from another developer/designer you might want to know why the site works the way it does. The version history shows you when and where new things got added and might give a hint why the CSS file is messed up the way it is.

It doesn’t have to be public
You can also make the version history just for yourself – as a reference when you introduced a feature. This can than later be used for measuring how effectively that introduction has been – have you met the goals you have set for the new feature (you have set goals right?).

These are just a few of the benefits I can see for the version history on a website, what are yours?

#website #ux #idea

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We’ve got a Version History!

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