In which we flirt with disaster:
There are a few different types of redesigns. First of all, there’s changing the look. In the simplest and best form, this is a very quick deal, especially if the site is properly architected for quick changes. It’s like taking your plain vanilla cellphone, buying a snazzy faceplate, one click – instant new hotness. I have nothing against this sort of redesigns.
The only thing you have to look out for here is what I call the “Felicity effect.” A television show Felicity had a famous redesign failure – the actress Keri Russell cut her trademark long hair. One might argue that she is hot no matter what, but the show suffered a huge drop in ratings. You have to keep in mind that a new look rarely attracts new customers, but often upsets the old ones.
Today we’re going to switch over to the new commenting system. This may work well. This may not work well. There’s really only one way to find out. Fortunately, we can make a number of modifications once it’s in place, but rest assured if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, I won’t hesitate to rip them out and go back to Haloscan. This isn’t change for change’s sake; if it doesn’t improve the blog, I’m not going to subject everyone to it.