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I'm working on reinovating new sections in a web based product, and I wonder what is the best strategy to transform users from the old version to the new one. Keeping in mind that I'm aiming to minimize the churn after the change. 

  • SM

    spencer mann

    over 3 years ago #

    Good question. I think this is more difficult/risky than most people assume. I have been involved in testing major redesigns of our pricing page, welcome dialogues, product experience and payment pages. In most cases, the first launch of a redesign under-performs against the incumbent. This is not surprising, since the incumbent has likely had all the bugs ironed out as well as benefited from several iterative improvements. So my first recommendation is to test your new design against the old. Additionally, new users often respond differently (more positively) than old users to a redesign, since they don't have to re-learn an interface or experience. Consequently, we always test our redesigns on new users first. Since new users are your future growth, it is critical that your redesign is a win for those users. During this initial test we track a pretty broad selection of activities. In some cases we have found that subtle changes can dramatically shift user behaviors in ways we did not anticipate, better to find this out when you can do a direct comparison of a test rather than wonder several months later why a key action has fallen off a cliff. Once we have nailed the new design for new users, we test it on existing users (sometimes we will do an opt-in beta at the very beginning of the process for existing users to help inform the design). Testing on your existing user base is scary, unlike with new users which gives you a new cohort each month you only have a set amount of users long time users. Usually, this is an iterative process as well, but hopefully all major issues were worked out on the new users. One idea that has been particularly valuable for us is to add a button for users to opt out of the new design, when users click on this we ask why they opted out. This enables you to retain a portion of existing users who may not like the new design, as well as provides you an easy list of issues you need to address.

    One final note, we have learned through sad experience that design should always be tested separately from underlying tech infrastructure. It is tempting when revamping a website to optimize the tech (for us it was moving to angular 2) at the same time of implementing the new design. In multiple cases we have found that nuances with the changes in tech were actually the core issue with the new experience. You don't want those results to be mixed/confused with your test of the design.

    Hope that helps!
    (I am the director of growth at Lucid Software, we run about 200 tests a year, and there has been many failures I have learned from)

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    One way would be to segment out your most active users and share the new design with them using something like Invision.
    This will accomplish a couple of things:
    a. The primary concern of springing it on them will be taken care of
    b. You will get feedback on your new design before it's coded - which in most likelihood will point out things they don't understand or love or just need clarifications on.

    You can even create batches of such users where you share the same design with a different URL if that's easier to manage.

    As a consequence, these users will even feel special for having been brought into the process and likely be even more engaged when it is rolled out.
    For users that are not as active or inactive - if they churn do you really care?