We’ve recently undergone a big change so I thought I’d make a few notes on how we went about it.
The Motley Fool used to comprise a mixture of personal finance and investing content. It was decided to separate this content into two specific sites – investing would be the main area of focus for The Fool and personal finance would be the main offering from the other site.
Initially, the challenge for us was to develop a new name and brand for the new site – I’ve written some details about how we did this here.
We also needed to communicate the change to our users and here is how we did it.
By the time we needed to begin communication, we had already put up a temporary site in order to build link equity and it looked like this:
As you can see, it was pretty basic, but featured comparison tables – Lena’s speciality, which are key to the site in terms of revenue and article churn, which contributed to the freshly updated content that Google loves. Carl also started a blog which added a nice human touch to the site.
On The Fool site, meanwhile, the messaging was done through the About Us section:
Emails also went out to our customers explaining the change.
A few weeks later, we moved to the second phase of the change. This involved changing some areas on The Fool site to incorporate the lovemoney.com site and make it clear to customers that lovemoney.com is the new offering from The Fool, whilst emphasising the differences in focus.
Here’s what the homepage looked like before:
…and here’s what the homepage looked like once the details about the new site had been added:
As you can see the homepage gives significant focus to the new site, which is all part of the signposting and managing user expectations. There were also tool tips, written by Sara, which floated above the article titles on hover over, explaining that they were being sent to a different site.
The About Us page was also updated to outline the forthcoming changes:
Then the next step was the launch of lovemoney.com. For this, we built a new site in the background which featured all the bits from the original lovemoney.com site plus a registration box for people interested to learn more about the new features, new navigation including a top bar for comparing products and extra bits like home and car insurance. This is what it looked like:
Then, on April 1st, it blossomed into the current green and luscious looking site. Profiling details, comments on articles and Q&A were also added to this release:
Of course the grass/growing concept is related to the ‘nurturing’ philosphy behind lovemoney.com.
I think a nice ‘paradise’ background would also look good as paradise is probably quite a nurturing place.