We are constantly challenged with the growing amount of visual patterns. Trends are changing making room for new standards. Naturally this pushes visual designers to react: we want to reply, to say something about it. As a result, the buzz around the trend or replication only strengthens it.
Then there is a need for something new. New seems to be always better than current, familiar. And if it applies for the marketing design, which must have an instant surprising effect, new in the product design should be reasoned. It isn’t only about efficiency and system architecture. The goal is to keep the product clear. The user should be able to predict what he about to see even when opening new pages. (By saying what here I actually mean how)
It is good if you innovate by keeping it simple. But making product simple and clear requires an enormous effort. It isn’t in hands of designers and even product managers. It requires clarity and collaboration at the higher level. Since each system is a living organism the growth affects the whole. Therefore every new component requires adjustment of existing eco-system. Sometimes it may cause dropping other (unnecessary) items. And since efficiency today is measured with the time, only few companies can afford such adjustments.
So if you can’t make it simple – make it consistent. Let the user consume the information same way he did before. You will (1) save time, (2) retain existing audience and (3) most probably increase usage duo to offline recommendations. By the way, it isn’t a simple challenge though.