In my last question, I got advice about how to keep up with my community. Since then, I've tried to stay engaged and brought on another community leader to help me. Growth continued. Over the month of December, we announced changes that we were considering and solicited community feedback. Utilizing that feedback we made changes to the product we have. Then we released it and watched the world explode.

The users that had provided feedback when we solicited it loved the changes. But, we found that have had a very large silent majority that didn't provide us with input. Countless users we'd never heard from came to complain about the changes. At this point, we've fallen victim to listening to those that complain the loudest. Unfortunately, the amount of time and effort spent in making these changes makes it rather difficult to undo them. We've already planned our next iteration of changes based on what we released.

How do we, as leaders, convey the need for more input from a variety of viewpoints to prevent this type of thing from occurring in the future? We are slowly calming the crowd and bringining them around to the changes, but I am asking how I can be more proactive next time. How do I engage this silent majority?

1 Answer 1


The first thing to do now is to identify what's wrong with the latest release. Is it just "people hate change?" Is it truly a bad modification? Without knowing what's wrong with the new software update, it's pretty hard to know what how to fix it. Perhaps it's just people don't like change itself, and the modification is perfectly fine. Perhaps there's a tiny shortcoming that it could be fixed. Heck, it could even be the color scheme is annoying users!

That's your number one priority to ensure that users don't leave. Make sure to let your current users know that you're trying to provide a remedy for this issue but it takes time. If you're still getting backlash, consider taking the time to rollback the software (if you use version control software like Github, which you should if you're working on any major software project).

Once you have the bad change fixed, you need to get more user input. Perhaps you just posted a message on a message board that's hidden. If you did so, you need to make it obvious. Make it stand out and have it be "in their face" to make sure that they see it, kinda like this text here.

Make it stand out like this text does!

If you were quickly scrolling, this text above is one of the largest font sizes on the page, so it quickly grabs your attention. Put it in some red text and make it bold. It's their fault if they miss a giant sentence that's red, bold, and there for a week or so. A banner can be annoying, but it's highly effective if you notice that no one is looking at the pages that allow them to give input.

Of course, reserve this technique for major changes only so users don't get annoyed and never look at those links.

Another thing to do would be to give screenshots of new features that are in development so users can see how it's being made and warn you if they don't like it in an early stage, as opposed to when that change is in production.

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