What harm could it do
When deciding on changes we think about what we need to accomplish and how to do it. What are the goals and tasks and how software can help with those.
At the same time it’s very important to think about what harm a change could do to existing functionality or workflow.
For example, in a marketplace you may want to increase engagement and you start displaying more information about each of your listings. However, if you display too much information, or irrelevant information, or present it incorrectly you could negatively impact conversions from new buyers.
The opposite might also be true. You could decide to hide information and then you might alienate users who do not have enough information to make a decision.
You could add the ability of the users to add display pictures but your users might not care about those and then you end up with a bunch of placeholder images everywhere.
To mitigate this it’s important to measure usage when things are removed or changed and to relate that usage to total user-base instead of absolute numbers. Secondly, it’s important to measure things before and after of course, but also to notice if there’s any impact on other seemingly unrelated numbers.
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