Notes from the Product Manager for September, 2014
It’s pretty easy to get stubborn about product decisions in the face of negative responses from customers.
I think some of that stubbornness comes from watching as Apple drags its customers through changes. New iPhone sizes…deal with it. New font for Yosemite…deal with it. New charging cable…deal with it.
For the most part, Apple’s customers do just that.
We recently did a minor redesign of the Hover.com site. One of the more noticeable things we did was switching the font from a combination of DIN and Arial to a really beautiful font called Raleway.
I loved Raleway and I thought it looked and worked great throughout the site. The blog wasn’t as great since Raleway was a bit tough to read when used on blocks of text, but the Hover site doesn’t really have any of those blocks of text, so we thought it would be fine.
Some of our customers disagreed and let us know. We got some complaints about the site feeling more difficult to navigate (weird since we didn’t really change much except the font). Others noted that Raleway had a bad * which was a problem when entering DNS records (a good point and something we missed).
We fought it for a couple of days and gave our customers some time to get used to the new look. But when the complaints kept trickling in, we made the decision to switch back to the old fonts.
We could have easily stuck to our guns and told our customers to deal with it. Maybe over time they would have adapted to it. But maybe they wouldn’t. And maybe new potential customers would run into a weird feeling when they bought their first domain.
That’s not a risk we can take, nor is it something we want to put our customers through. The goal of Hover is to make buying and managing domain names as easy as possible. If using DIN and Arial instead of Raleway helps accomplish that goal, then so be it.