The Facebook Effect

There is a phenomenon that happens when you have lots of customers using your product and you suddenly change it.

They get mad.

Facebook is a perfect example.  Every time they change something, their user base erupts in turmoil and dissatisfaction.  Then an interesting thing happens about 2-3 months later.

They get used to it.

It’s amazing to me how angry people get and how quickly they forget.  Marketo is about to have a similar thing happen.  We are moving the primary navigation a little.  People will freak out and then get used to it.  However, during that period, it will be painful and awful.

Software has to evolve.  It can’t stay still without risk of becoming stale and un-maintainable.   Change is a necessary ingredient to managing an product.  This doesn’t make it any easier for the users.

I’m not looking forward to it.  The anticipation is the worst part.  I just want to get it over with.  I wonder if the Facebook designers feel this way?

One reply on “The Facebook Effect”

I agree that applications need to evolve and improve, but I think there is a difference between consumer applications and business applications and therefore the impact of changes is not the same.

Whatya think?