I know I don't (though I should), but just about every site I work with is a one-time deal that prevents me from working on the sites for any given period of time. But if I could, you can rest assured that I would. Whether it would be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, once a year, via surveys and feedback solicitations, actual user testing sessions or what not, I'd do everything within my power to ensure that a site was as easy to use as possible.
That being said, I do have a couple personal projects that I've been working on for quite some time, and since this is an area that I do have long-term control over, I've been thinking about how I can go about doing this. I'm not going to identify what those projects are, other than that they are content/community oriented, but I would like to solicit ideas on how I'd be able to go about doing such long-term testing and evaluations of these types of Web sites. Not only to get feedback on what I can do to improve them for the benefit of my future prospective users/readers/members/whoever, but also to help foster a sense of community - of belonging. So, if you have any ideas on how this can be done (such as a feedback form prominently linked to from the home page, email surveys that can be sent out to those who subscribe via email, and so forth), I would most definately love to hear them.
I'm not trying to say I'm sloppy or anything - I take great pride in the quality of my work and strive to ensure that everything is as well optimized, accessible, and easy to use as possible. However, to borrow from a military saying (I can't help it, I come from a family of army brats), no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy. Granted, there is no "enemy" here, but that's not the point. The point is that no matter how good a job someone does, no matter how knowledgable and skilled someone is, they have absolutely no idea how well (or not) something will really work until it gets out in the wild and shows its true colors. What a designer thinks may work may actually be too difficult or impossible for some people - and those are the types of people we should be catering to in the first place (Steve Krug said it best with the title of his critically acclaimed book "Don't Make Me Think!").
Hence the purpose of this thread. I need ideas people. Can I have some of yours?