Please Stop Saying “Redesign”

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Following up on my previous post about incrementalism, I would like to share this with you: we are trying to kill the word “redesign” at Cheezburger.

There is no such thing as redesign; there is only adding new things and cleaning up things that already exist.  When you do lots of those activities your site might start to look as though it has a new design, but that’s something entirely different than a “redesign”.

In my experience, redesigns are typically championed by loud voices who think something “really sucks”, but they rarely have data…just a lot of opinions about how things could be better.

On the other hand, incrementalism forces focus on the actual needs of your users.  You will never have a user that says, “Please redesign your navigation so that it better reflects your brand.”  Never.  What a user will say is, “I can never seem to find the widgamacallit page and that’s frustrating.”

When you’re focused on fixing the widgamacallit problem, then you can make changes that address that problem, and measure the improvement.  You can ask the users, “Can you find the widgamacallit now?”

As a result, an incremental approach makes it easier to sniff out the B.S.  When someone says, “Add the widgamacallit to the navigation,” there’s a logical answer: because it will help the user find it.  But, when someone says, “Well, I think we should also add the glibiddygab to the navigation,” the answer is “Why?”

Written by scottporad

November 10th, 2009 at 8:50 am