Google AdWords: How to tell a story about interface changes

Users don’t tend to ask for large-scale site overhauls; massive changes mean having to learn a new UI, and that’s rarely something that folks get excited about. Massive changes also tend to feel unnecessary (it worked before, why fix it?) and arbitrary (why did this thing change and that other thing didn’t?) How, then, to explain to users why changes were necessary, why you made the changes you did, and how to effectively use the new UI?

(Twitter didn’t do a great job of explaining why it made a small but significant change last week, and users staged a minor revolt.)

The Google AdWords team made a smart decision to make a video about changes to the AdWords administrative interface. Team members describe how they collected user feedback to inform changes to the interface, and how these changes make the user experience better. The video makes the interface changes feel necessary (they significantly improve site performance) and human (real people put lots of thought into how to make this better, and the new features represent their best efforts).

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