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Building Social Web Applications by Gavin Bell

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Chapter 6. Managing Change

’Cause people often talk about being scared of change

But for me I’m more afraid of things staying the same

’Cause the game is never won by standing in any one

Place for too long.

“Jesus of the Moon” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

People get comfortable in their routines. When launching or changing a website, you are asking them to adjust to new contexts and unfamiliar ways of doing things. Even if a new product clearly offers a better way to do something, people—even those inside your organization—still may be unwilling to move to that new product quickly. Technology adoption rates are usually best measured in years, not months or weeks. Because modifying your website will affect your visitors, your workflow, and your site management processes, you need to look ahead cautiously as you plan for changes.

Resistance

People frequently reject change, preferring to stick with what they know. Generally, we like the world to stay the same, and at most we create change at our own pace. Think of how often you change the shop where you pick up your daily newspaper, your route to work, or even your parking space or seat on the train. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that some stability in life helps us deal with the rest of the unpredictability that life throws at us. Imagine being forced to take a new route to work every day due to unpredictable road or train and problems. The unexpected changes from one route to the next would disrupt your life ...

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