Managing product upgrades

Product upgrades represent a delicate matter. If not handled properly they might mess your product portfolio, hassle your customers and damage your company’s image.

Kathy Sierra has an interesting view on the topic. In the article “Why they don’t upgrade” she defends that “it’s not usually the upgrade that sucks. It’s that the upgrade makes the users suck. Or at least makes them feel that it’s their fault for not instantly getting it”.

In the article you will find several factors that can make a product upgrade work, including:

  • make sure that the users know why the upgrade is worth
  • make sure users know you will guide them through the transition
  • use early adopters to spread the voice

I think the main message is that having a great upgrade (technically speaking) is not enough. You need to manage the whole process carefully and always place yourself in the place of the customer. After all, his experience is your success.