Redesign of Python site

Istvan Albert ialbert at mailblocks.com
Mon Sep 8 02:02:40 CEST 2003


rt lange wrote:

> http://www.pollenation.net/journal/index.php?p=37&c=1
> 
> main page mockup:
> http://www.pollenation.net/assets/public/python-main.html

The last time we redesigned our website, we've
got a significant amount of of hate mail. "You suck",
"Idiots", "Previously it was so great you had to destroy it",
"I've been a user for five years but I will
never come back to this site" etc... The odd thing is
that we thought that the site was significantly more
usable than before, after all the redesign was based on
an extensive usability testing.

(It was a pretty cool experiment, observing users
trough a one way mirror as they attempted  predefined
tasks, multiple cameras and microphones tracking
what users do, it is a great thing to do if you have
the chance)

It was pretty hard to digest this hate mail, it was as if these
people had zero respect for all the hard work we've put in,
in fact most email was actually very rude and rushed,
yet the only common ingredient in all of these emails was
the perceived infallibility of the authors themselves.

But guess what, usage became indeed a whole lot higher, users
were doing more searches and were submitting significantly
more ratings than before. We have accomplished everything
we wanted.

This and other anecdotal evidence led me to the conclusion that
redesingin a site in a way that will please old-timers is
impossible. Even more, one should be very careful in
gathering input from them since they might live
in a different world than most of the people one
wants to reach. Negative comments will always far
outnumber positive ones, for the simple reason that
it seems a lot harder to praise a work than putting
it down.

I would agree with most here that a more text based
site would be more suited, but let's try to remember that there
are people that worked hard on this, and may even
be right in what they are trying to accomplish.

cheers,

Istvan.





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