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I'm doing a "refresh".. mainly we are going responsive so that users over 1366px width will see a large layout with bigger media objects, users below 1366px will see the same layout with a slightly better UI. At what point do you ask users if they want to see the new design? How radical should the difference be? Do you let users decide or is the best way to roll it out in sample sizes?

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I'm on the cusp of releasing a radical redesign so I'd be interested in hearing any research on this subject. –  corin Jul 25 '12 at 6:13

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Some days ago Basecamp (37signals) was redesigned and relaunched and there are some very valuable insights in this interview with its founder, Jason Fried.


Update: Here is some advice extracted from the interview (their experience is mostly related to building a SaaS product, so take that into account):

  • Keep the original version. They believe that users don't like to be forced to change. They want to do it at their own pace, so give them the option to change at their own schedule.
  • Show and teach your users what's new.
  • Release to a small group of beta testers first.
  • Ask for feedback only when you've done major changes. Feedback is valuable, so if you ask for feedback for every minor fix your users will get tired and stop giving it and or poorer feedback.
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A summary of the points Jason makes would be nice. It would help your answer (and thus this site) stand on its own two feet. –  Marjan Venema Jul 25 '12 at 8:18
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Very good info there. I agree, but in my case I'm wondering whether the change is radical enough to keep the original version. In all I'm adding about 200px to the container for large res users. –  surpr Jul 25 '12 at 14:23

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