Just trying to understand the culture/brand

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First, I just want to say, you have built a great product. You built something that people (including me) always wanted but didn't know what it looked like. So kudos on the vision to do that. As a founder of companies, I can see you all are doing great work.

My questions/concerns are around understanding how customer feedback & desire interface with the direction and features of the platform. I've only been here for a week or so but I read a lot of entries, social media and focus group feedback. I wonder if this is a brand that is more like Apple which believes it knows what customers want even more than they do and willing to get through the tough parts to prove or if the customer feedback really does help drive the feature set of the product.

The biggest thing I'm seeing of late is the negative reaction to the layout changes. People so believe in your product that they want it to meet their needs and willing to take time to write posts like this and it seems like that feedback is being met with hard resistance. If you all are the Apple of productivity planners than that is fine, it just helps customers like us figure out how to engage with your product or not.

I just wanted to ask because the type of people who love a product like yours are a certain segment of the human population and you have a very engaged subset of those people. I just wonder if those changes and the customer experience may drive people away when we want to give you money and use what you built.

Any chance you could set up a betas of the product and let folk use them before forcing the rollouts?

App:
Web app
Ana Loraine
  • Under review

Hi, Calvin!

Good question! We appreciate that you coming forward to share your thoughts about the recent update.

I have forwarded this to Aymeric and our dev to look into, 

Aymeric
  • Answered

Hi Calvin, I am the founder behind Week Plan.


I want to make three points:

#1 Finding a design that pleases everyone is not possible

#2 People tend to resist change

#3 Negative comments are generally more vocal than positive ones.

#1 The very first version of Week Plan had the sidebar with the goals of the week, then we moved then under the schedule, and people complained about that change. Then we reverted back that change, and people complained about that change too.


In this kind of situation, we have to be like Apple, be loyal with our original vision, and we believe the "Plan of the Week" is the single most important thing in Week Plan and it should always be visible. Most users who complain about the change are misusing what it was intended for, and generally they were misusing it because where it was in the UI. They used it like a backlog per role, where it should be a list for the week.

#2 People tend to resist change. So we pay attention to how this kind of change affect the behavior of our new users and make sure it is an improvement for their perspective. Like you have seen, our users are intelligent and articulated, we have no doubt we will adapt.

#3 We also get positive feedback about the same exact change: 

Here is a comment we received last night: https://gyazo.com/f846013b76a9bf4bea42bd55157b6d54

but yesterday we received the opposite feedback on the same topic: https://gyazo.com/6f5746ff2ac7534af18dc787898d765c

I hope this shades some light on why we sometimes stick to our guns.

calvinwilliamsjr

Aymeric,

I totally respect your view and your role as founder of this great product. I can understand everything you said, I just wanted to set my expectations. You have done great so far, so I will trust your process and see where it goes. 

I was one of those who were misusing the product, so I just switched everything over from the old way to your recommended use of the boards. Will give it a go.

Also, this may be user error but after i moved everything to a board, then i refreshed the page, they still show up in HIT. I was hoping that after moving everything, it would be empty and I would load up my top 5 things to do that week.

Am i doing it wrong?

robert.hudman
Quote from Aymeric

Hi Calvin, I am the founder behind Week Plan.


I want to make three points:

#1 Finding a design that pleases everyone is not possible

#2 People tend to resist change

#3 Negative comments are generally more vocal than positive ones.

#1 The very first version of Week Plan had the sidebar with the goals of the week, then we moved then under the schedule, and people complained about that change. Then we reverted back that change, and people complained about that change too.


In this kind of situation, we have to be like Apple, be loyal with our original vision, and we believe the "Plan of the Week" is the single most important thing in Week Plan and it should always be visible. Most users who complain about the change are misusing what it was intended for, and generally they were misusing it because where it was in the UI. They used it like a backlog per role, where it should be a list for the week.

#2 People tend to resist change. So we pay attention to how this kind of change affect the behavior of our new users and make sure it is an improvement for their perspective. Like you have seen, our users are intelligent and articulated, we have no doubt we will adapt.

#3 We also get positive feedback about the same exact change: 

Here is a comment we received last night: https://gyazo.com/f846013b76a9bf4bea42bd55157b6d54

but yesterday we received the opposite feedback on the same topic: https://gyazo.com/6f5746ff2ac7534af18dc787898d765c

I hope this shades some light on why we sometimes stick to our guns.

Hi Aymeric

I think your three points are very valid, but there is a key point that I think we need to keep in mind here.

There have been quite a few changes to the product over the last few weeks or so. Unfortunately these changes have not been well communicated in advance to existing customers. Unless I missed it, I have not seen any in-app banners, emails or the like to forewarn of upcoming changes. I did see something on the Facebook group, however this was posted on 2nd Nov looking for feedback, and went live within a couple days (today is the first time I saw either, so no opportunity to give feedback). Conversely, in the past things had been notified in Facebook group, but the feedback has been missed.  

Because of the lack of forewarning, the changes come as a shock to the user base. Regardless of if user input should strongly impact product development (and I believe it should) users should at least have the option to prepare for the change instead of finding out the next time they log in. Even if Weekplan consider the change an improvement, there has to be a realisation that the change will impact the way people use the product. Naturally change is going to involve both positive and negative feedback, however when people are not properly informed in advance, then their reaction tends to be more negative/defensive. On the flip side...if you raise the change in advance, explain the reason for it and give users an opportunity to give their thoughts/feedback then the outcome is generally much better.

Hope this makes sense. 

Note: On the most recent change, I don't agree that combining the HITs for roles into one list was the right decision to solve the lack of space issue (let alone that it doesn't even automatically group/sort by role). 

Aymeric
Quote from robert.hudman

Hi Aymeric

I think your three points are very valid, but there is a key point that I think we need to keep in mind here.

There have been quite a few changes to the product over the last few weeks or so. Unfortunately these changes have not been well communicated in advance to existing customers. Unless I missed it, I have not seen any in-app banners, emails or the like to forewarn of upcoming changes. I did see something on the Facebook group, however this was posted on 2nd Nov looking for feedback, and went live within a couple days (today is the first time I saw either, so no opportunity to give feedback). Conversely, in the past things had been notified in Facebook group, but the feedback has been missed.  

Because of the lack of forewarning, the changes come as a shock to the user base. Regardless of if user input should strongly impact product development (and I believe it should) users should at least have the option to prepare for the change instead of finding out the next time they log in. Even if Weekplan consider the change an improvement, there has to be a realisation that the change will impact the way people use the product. Naturally change is going to involve both positive and negative feedback, however when people are not properly informed in advance, then their reaction tends to be more negative/defensive. On the flip side...if you raise the change in advance, explain the reason for it and give users an opportunity to give their thoughts/feedback then the outcome is generally much better.

Hope this makes sense. 

Note: On the most recent change, I don't agree that combining the HITs for roles into one list was the right decision to solve the lack of space issue (let alone that it doesn't even automatically group/sort by role). 

I agree, when a big change happens, we should publish a video explaining the changes, the why behind it and how to use it.

Regarding the combined plan of the week, do you have any suggestion?

robert.hudman
Quote from Aymeric

I agree, when a big change happens, we should publish a video explaining the changes, the why behind it and how to use it.

Regarding the combined plan of the week, do you have any suggestion?

Hey Aymeric

Glad we are on the same page. The suggestions you have provided for customer advance notice makes sense. 

My suggestions for HIT section were on the facebook group, and still ones I would stand by. 

What I don't like about current changes is that the HITs are combined. And in that situation do not automatically grouped or sorted by role.