Don’t Move the Cheese

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There is an expression I use at work all the time. ¬†Don’t move the cheese. ¬†It comes from a book by Spencer Johnson. ¬†Cheese was put in a corner of the maze. ¬†The mice found the cheese, but one day the cheese was moved. ¬†Watch the video below for the details. In UX Design, I think of it like this:

  1. You create a UI that teaches the user how to do something.
  2. You decide you like a different UI better, so you change it.
  3. The user tries to do the task in the old way and get’s pissed off. ¬†It doesn’t work the way it used to.
  4. You moved their cheese.

At work, I am very¬†sensitive¬†to moving the user’s cheese. ¬†Always try to avoid it. ¬†For more details, check out this post about consistency. ¬†In short, Don’t Move the Cheese of the user unless you are making it significantly better for them. ¬†Even if you do, be prepared for a major backlash. ¬†People just don’t like change.

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