Stop Bitching About How People Don’t Like Change — Customers Aren’t Sheeple!

Emma Lindsay
May 12, 2016 · 4 min read

Instagram drama proves just how much we don’t like change claims CNN. This isn’t a new thing, people frequently hate logo redesigns. It’s just like, sort of accepted that if you do a big change to your logo, your customers are going to hate it. Known issue! Just tell your customers to suck it up is the sort of conventional wisdom around it.

But, given that we know people hate big logo redesigns, why do companies keep dong them? Ok, I get it if you’re like, going down the tubes and it’s a last ditch effort. I also get if it’s a small change to stay modern. But Instagram was doing pretty well, wasn’t it? Why do such a big change at this point in the game?

People like consistency. This is not a flaw. People like a certain look and feel — the look and feel that attracted them to use your app in the first place. This is how humans work. It’s like, coming home at the end of a long day and snuggling up with a book or something. It’s how people find comfort, with familiarity. If people were a little more open to change, these apps probably wouldn’t have such a loyal consumer bases to begin with.

Instagram had this to say about their logo change: “The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app. The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

I mean, none of that really makes sense (yes — a neon logo clearly puts more focus on user photos) but whatever. What’s really at the heart is Instagram probably wasn’t really focused on the needs of their customers. They were focused on who they want to be, and you can tell that they want to be more than just a picture sharing company. They want to be a “global community of interests.” However, it seems to me their users basically still going there to share photos. I imagine that your average user thinks something like “I want to share this picture” or “I want to look at pictures” rather than “I want to tap into a global community of interests” when using Instagram.

I mean, what the hell is a global community of interests? You can even tell from the way they phrased that that they weren’t thinking about their users as people— they phrased it as if the “interests” were sharing themselves (“a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day.”) Much like their logo redesign, Instagram has abstracted away the humanity in their justification.

Which is why their logo now looks like everyone else’s logo. Flat, modern, “professional.” They’re more interested in marking themselves, visually, like one of the “major players.” In fact, the entire move toward these flat modern logos was because apple did it, and people are trying look like apple because that is the look of MEGA SUCCESS. But, it was cool when Apple did it because no one else was doing it. Now everyone is doing it, there’s just a boring sterile sea of dead logos on your smartphone.

Users are reacting because they sense the conformity. And, when companies conform to the practices of other companies, or “standard industry practices,” that’s a pretty key indicator that their focus is on the egos of the people who work at the company rather than the needs of their users. It is completely reasonable for people to react to that, it’s a bad sign. It’s a sign that indicates other conforming changes may be coming down the line. It’s a sign of disconnect.

WE HAD A BUNCH OF INNOVATIVE IDEAS, BUT NOW LET’S JUST DO WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING!

Yeah. Sounds great! I can just replace all my apps with facebook, and only have one thing on my smartphone. It would really simplify things for me.

To be fair, I do appreciate the neon. That was a bold move. But, damn, I really wish these companies would stop taking their users for granted so much. Products exist to serve the needs of their users, that is it. If your product stops doing this, it’s game over. If a company makes a change most of it’s users hate, the problem isn’t the users. The problem is the company.

Emma Lindsay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/protectingthecrushed/ — Twitter: https://twitter.com/SassyDotLove

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