I am tasked with communicating with our users about some major site rollouts happening soon. In addition, there have been other big transitions of late, including the departure of the old community manager. We already know a small minority of vocal users (from our ambassador team) are frustrated enough with the changes that they have been speaking out in a negative way on their ambassador forums and to the old community manager via DM and email, and during our current test rollout have bookmarked the old version of the site (which our Product team endorsed at the time) so they can continue using it. However, the site has to be modernized for other reasons I won’t go into here.
What I’m trying to decide is:
a) how to message to them that the older version of the site is going away
b) when to move forward with the rollout (rip the bandaid approach and do right away or give some time for me to get to know them before)
b) whether or not to keep the older version of the site live for a slightly longer period (enabling them to continue to avoid the new site, even though we cannot support the older version any more)
I’d love thoughts from anyone who has had to deal with major site changes and negative members before (which I’m sure is everyone!).