Quite a few of my posts over the last few months have lambasted StumbleUpon for the proposed and then slowly integrated changes they’ve announced and made to the StumbleUpon website. Here I’d like to highlight the words slowly integrated as of special importance because, well, they are important. They are important because StumbleUpon did not tell its users that the changes were going to be implemented over a period of time, they gave them a set date and said this is when and this is what.
The this is when was the cut off date for the old StumbleUpon as we liked, even loved, it. The one we were used to with links and photographs and everything that gave color and life to the whole.
The this is what is what they told us was going to happen, how the website would look once the cut off date had hurried by. They told us that we would have a plain black and white blog-like interface with no personal themes available and no linked photographs or thumbnails.
What they didn’t tell us, and I consider this to be a major marketing mistake, is the truth of what they had planned, how the site would really look when they rolled out the completed new look. Had they taken this step, had they allowed people (users) a real look behind the scenes, a snapshot of the end product, I suspect that the anger voiced by many, many users would have been very much muted.
I say this because the new look StumbleUpon is nothing like what they told us – or led us to believe – it would be. The black and white text with no visible photographs promised is not what we now have. What we now have is much the same as we had before – without the theme backgrounds as far as I can see – but with a better layout, a much better design. It is compacter, easier to read and browse, well formatted and – dare I say it – almost beautiful.
Let me put it another way: I like it.
Faced with the reality of the new StumbleUpon against that which they had told us was coming, I am prepared to admit that I have changed my mind. The reality is good. I just wish that they had given us a chance to see it in advance, had muted our worries over destruction of what was good by not showing us the planned end product. As a marketing action it was – and is – a complete failure. As an end product it is good.
I have changed my mind about StumbleUpon in its new form, and I have changed my mind because I decided to wait, to test and, most of all, because I can.
Love & Kisses, Viki.