I changed my newsletter for this site, from not-reliable-quarterly to (with any luck) reliable monthly. Why? Because the lack of frequency made it more difficult for me to keep up with the newsletter. That’s not what I want as a writer. I am sure it’s not what you want as a reader. I’ll post the newsletters on or about the 10th of the month, starting next month.
I made the change for me and for my newsletter subscribers. I want to provide value more often. I receive the value when I write about adaptability. You receive the value when I send you something once a month. Especially if I’m reliable about it.
Two sites I use a lot just changed their user interface. I am sure that they think the changes are a feature. I can barely use the sites any longer.
On one of the sites, they asked for feedback. I provided it. (I know, you are so surprised!) I explained how the features I used are many more clicks away, how the colors do not enhance the usability, and how they have managed to hide the features I use most often.
The person who started the thread defended their choices. In effect, she told me I was wrong for wanting what I wanted.
That’s when I realized the changes were not for the site’s users. The changes were for the people who run the site. A key insight.
I haven’t bothered telling the other site how bad their new user interface is. The site hasn’t been for the users for a long time. It’s for advertisers and job seekers.
If you are changing something, consider who the change is for. Here are some questions you might find helpful:
- Who benefits from the change?
- Who loses something from the change?
- Of those people, who is most important to you? You might decide that the people who benefit are most important to you. If not, this question might change your proposed change(s).
- How will this change affect our status?
- What does success look like?
- How will we measure success?
You might want to read about project success where I suggest context-free questions in What Does Success Look Like?
Here’s one of the problems I see a lot in projects. Often, the people asking for the change(s) do not discuss what success looks like or how to measure it. Without measuring success, you are trying, not experimenting. I find I need to experiment more—with measurable data—rather than try something.
I’m certainly not an opponent of change. And, I have found that thinking about when and what to change, and how I measure it is a better idea than going ahead with the change.
That is the question this week: Who is the change for?
- Do You Want Feedback?
- Who Gets the Credit?