Mark Glaser from Mediashift has a good breakdown of the reader reaction to the recent relaunch of the USA Today website.  As background, USA Today's new site contains a lot of great social features but longtime site visitors have reacted negatively

Below is an excerpt of a comment I left on Mark's post:

I think there may be a lesson to be learned though in how to roll these things out. I'm wondering if they did focus groups about the design and new features? Or if they had some beta testers kick the tires a bit before launch? It seems like these steps might have identified problems in the site's usability before a broader launch.

Most of the problems people are having are usability issues that it is nearly impossible for designers/developers who are in the weeds to notice (I've been there). It seems like these steps might have helped.

I'm a big fan of USA Today's new features.  I'm just curious as to whether they took these steps (they may very well have). 

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.