So Facebook have rolled out another tranche of updates. Cue the whinging.
The fact is that people are like the Tory party: they don’t react well to change. It doesn’t matter if change brings improvement; familiarity makes things easy. People hate the unfamiliar because it means they have to learn to do New Things (*gasp*).
But this reaction is predictable. So when YOU need to change something (for example when you want a new website) you should plan for this predictability.
Want to Re-Design Your Site? First Question: Do You Have a Loyal Visitor Base?
Check your analytics. If you have a large proportion of returning visitors you would be wise to consult them before you embark on a re-design.
Conduct a survey. Ask them:
- What do they like about the current site?
- What do they dislike about the current site?
- What features/designs/structure would make their lives easier?
Asking your visitors what they want will give them a sense of ownership and will reduce the likelihood of a negative reaction when the site is launched.
Sell the Changes Like you Would Sell a School Trip to a Child
Children can find school trips really exciting or really boring. It is the build up to the trip and can make it a success or a failure. Capture the children’s interest early and you are onto a winner.
So tell you visitors about the new features you will be adding. Build it up. Tell them why you are making these changes.
Providing news and rationales will go a long way to managing expectations. Use your blog, newsletter and social media channels to communicate these things.
As always with marketing: good planning and research will win the day.