Yesterday, I received a request that I thought was pretty interesting.  It's actually in the bounds of a fairly common discussion -- a feature request for Notes usability that would create challenges for upgraders and compatibility.
I'm genericizing since it was an IBM internal discussion, but yesterday's request was to have something that changed from Notes R5 to Notes 6.x revert back to its old behavior.  In the particular case, the change could be done by the customer themselves through template modification -- and this is just a set of column property issues, not core "code".  Apparently, the end user/users at this organization are quite miffed that the behavior changed, regardless of the reason, and want it changed back in the shipping template.
I was a little flip about it, but my first reaction was -- I can't ask to change a two-year-old product used by millions because of one customer's request.  Can I?  
In last week's "cheesecake" discussion thread, we started an excellent discussion on this, too.  One of the biggest challenges for any installed software product -- IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, whomever -- is the learning curve associated with an upgrade.  Maintaining "classic" designs and menus is a challenge, so sometimes, upgrades simply must change the way a product used to behave - usually for a better.
What are some scenarios where you've seen this?  How important is it to evolve a product's functionality vs. keeping it familiar and consistent?

Post a Comment