When you seek to improve a bad design, how do you get enough buy-in from stakeholders and users to "rip the band aid off", or is incremental improvement usually the only way to get enough buy-in?
Or asked another way, how much change can people appreciate?
This reminds me of a story that a very experienced designer in our office related to me. It goes like this.
There are three types of music performance lovers. When they attend a live performance of music, each of them appreciates a certain level of change or improvisation to the original, well-known piece. The first type, we'll call them the classical music gurus, want to hear their pieces performed almost identical to the original. It is important to them. The second type appreciates a little more change from the original - they feel it adds interest. The third type, we'll call them the jazz gurus, appreciate the most change and improvisation. They love change and find it vital to a successful performance. However, when people studied how much change this third group really could handle and still appreciate the performance, they found that this third group could only handle about a 50% change from the original piece before even they started to dislike the new version. So even those that claimed to love change still needed one foot firmly planted in the old version to enjoy it as a new version of the original.
What are your tips for overcoming resistance to design change?