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Home arrow Computer Science arrow Calm Technology. Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design


Do you have a system in place that’s already useful that people are already trained on? Many companies fall prey to the “let’s redesign everything!” catch . This can come from executives and developers in equal parts . Perhaps developers are sick of the time it takes to maintain and test code, and stakeholders want to add new features or cut costs . But be forewarned . A complete redesign can be one of the riskiest things a company can do . Redesigning an entire system or piece of software means that the old product still has to be supported, and the new product will have bugs and have to be supported at the same time . Edge cases will double, and it could take years before the system is stable again

It’s often better to improve a system slowly over time than to redesign it and replace it with a more complex, newer system . Having people stop to learn new systems can lead to mistakes, but learning a new workflow one piece at a time gives people a chance to get comfortable with changes

Call your customer service department and figure out what the most frequent issue is Tech support probably encounters the same issues from people again and again . What are the most common complaints? Solve those first, and make your way down to the bottom, bit by bit. It’s often the hardest stuff to fix that makes the biggest impact, but fixing

simple items can sometimes improve the product greatly. You’re not trying to replace tech support; you’re just helping them do a better job with the calls that come in . Work with your designers and developers to address and fix the first issue . Then tackle the next issues in support .

If you get enough of these issues and are skilled and experienced enough to do a complete redesign, then go through with it, but be aware that some major sites (such as Digg and StumbleUpon) have completely lost user traction after overarching redesigns

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