On Risk and UI Design

Most designers and businesspeople are reticent to stir the pot when they’ve got a good thing going. When you’ve got thousands or even tens of thousands of people visiting your site each day, why take the risk of making a potentially shocking change? It makes little sense, right?

Well, that certainly makes sense if you’re working for an already established consumer web product (like the Googles and Amazons of the world). But for the up-and-comers like you and me, most users are yet to see the site or tools we’ve built when you think of the long-term. Keep this in mind when that angel on your shoulder is keeping you firmly planted on the side of safety. Give that devil the nod and try out a little risk. It could be well worth your while. I know I know I know, it’s trite, but this is totally true:

I’ll refrain from Justin Timberlake scenes from here on.

My point is a little different, though. Here’s what I’m thinking: Just because you’ve found a model that works doesn’t mean it is the only way forward. You already know this intuitively if you’re doing your job as a designer, but at the same time taking the leap is scary. I say go for it. Go for it, measure it, and change it back if you have to. Yes, people will complain, but most of the people who will use your site don’t even know you exist yet. Fancy that.

While you’re fancying, go order yourself some pickup or delivery.

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