I read this on an internal blog from one of my client organizations. I have removed the names of organizations and people in order to avoid any policy violations. I wanted to share what one large organization has learnt about the need to employ “change management” activities and good GUI principles in order to increase adoption rates of a social network service.
We met with one of our major decision makers to discuss the future of our internal social networking service and found a frustrated user who really couldn’t get into the service, despite the fact that he is one of the most tech savvy people in the company. While I hope we left him less frustrated this should never have happened. How many others have hit the same wall? The social network user experience is clearly not good enough. The social network service is a rich service that expects users to set it up, and frankly we don’t give them much help. And its not that we didn’t know this; we do. Its not that we can’t fix the problem; we can. The reason is that us regular users have forgotten that new users see the social networking service very differently. Their pain is not ours hence there is no spur to fix it. Adoption is key for us but we’ve fallen into the trap of imagining that it was features alone that would deliver users. Spending money to improve that first 10 minutes of the user’s experience never seemed to get high enough up the priority list to act. Its a lesson learnt, and we’ll do better.
Don’t make the same mistake!