Change is difficult to get right. It can create confusion, anger and could even cause people to stop using the things you redesigned altogether.
However, without change, you would be left behind the competition. Also, YouTube would still look like this:
So what changes has giffgaff gone through? Well, using some movie magic, I’ve put together a little tour of giffgaff’s homepage through the years.
The most noticeable changes are going from 2012 to 2013 where we reduced the amount of black and then the brand refresh in 2015 where we said goodbye to the lovely pixels and hello to the funky digital noise.
However, look beyond the bigger changes and you’ll see the subtler changes designed to make life for everyone easier.
You’ll notice that the top navigation bar has had a few changes, becoming simpler and less cluttered. The login button was made more obvious instead of hidden away in the top right.
We also flattened the colour scheme, moving away from distracting gradients on our order buttons.
Welcome, my friends, to the world of Optimisation.
For most people, visiting giffgaff.com is a journey. You visit the site with a destination in mind, be it to research prices, order SIMs, visit the Community and so on. Optimisation involves working with the many different parts of giffgaff in order to make these journeys as painless as possible.
A lot of the inspiration from our Optimisation programme comes from the members. I've been known to lurk around Contribute and along the way, we've helped implement some ideas on structure and text changes throughout the site and our emails.
The changes we make can vary wildly in size going from small text tweaks to big overhauls of sections of the site. To make sure we're on the right track, we do a lot of usability testing, A/B tests and arrange physical sessions with members for feedback.
We don't directly develop what goes on the site. But by using hard numbers, facts and research, we help guide the site to the right place.
So what's next? Well there are some bigger changes coming to the homepage to make it more relevant to members and non-members alike.
We'll be looking at our help pages and SIM activations to ease some common issues there and also inputting real-world feedback into the designs of future goodybag and gigabag pages.
Not only that, but we're also working on reducing the download size of giffgaff.com. By trimming the fat, we can make giffgaff a faster loading and more enjoyable site to use.
I hope my introduction to the changing face of giffgaff.com has been an enlightening one. It's been a whizzbang tour, but I hope you've found out something new.