Working for an Internet start-up like SharedBook is always exciting. At any one time there are so many projects underway and new products about to launch. Even more so as a Product Manager - it's like a candy store! So much to choose from.
But I have to remind myself to have patience. Though change is good and may be exciting, too much change too quickly doesn't always create a good user experience.
Take, for example, our Checkout process. Last week we released our new PayPal compatibility (Mor already wrote about this - The First Tester). This represents the third round of changes to our checkout process since I started a brief 6 months ago. And there are more changes in store for our checkout process coming soon.
So why not do ALL of these changes at once? Wouldn't it be more exciting and dramatic to reveal everything as one major upgrade? My enthusiasm says YES! But my experience says different.
First off, making major changes in an established application has associated risks. There are so many things to consider and changing lots means testing even more. So it is better to take smaller steps and ensure each one is on solid ground.
Secondly (and more importantly), users don't necessarily want to see everything suddenly change. Has it ever happened to you that you were on a Web site one day and you worked your way to the very end only to realize you forgot something? Imagine you come back the next day to finish and nothing is as you've left it. I've had this happen before and it breaks my stride. Suddenly my confidence is reduced - regardless of whether the change was an improvement. As a user my first reaction is, "This isn't working right." I usually stop and regroup. Sometimes I'll even decide to come back later.
Thus we have the several smaller steps we've taken. And soon we'll have the new ones too. Each step brings us forward and makes our user's experience better and better. It just takes a little patience.