I Hate Change. I Love Novelty. An ADHD-Friendly Website Grows Even Friendlier

By Rick Green
TotallyADD ADHD Friendly website
Is it fair to say that most of us who have ADHD love novelty? We are drawn to new things. New ideas. A new pic on Instagram. When it’s the same old stuff, we get bored. “That’s the way it’s always been done,” is comforting to some people, but to me that sounds like an apology. “We’re too afraid to mess with it” sometimes strikes me as a challenge, “We can’t possibly imagine how it could be better so we just live with it.”

Look at the fields where we excel—jobs with lots of variety, ever evolving, never the same. In our video on Careers there’s a lot of talk about how adults with ADHD are open to taking risks. We embrace new trends, and leading edge gadgets, or ideas. In fact, we’re often the ones leading that leading edge.

One chapter in coach Linda Roggli’s book, Confessions of an ADDiva, is simply titled, “The answer is always YES.” We leap cheerfully into the unknown. As Linda points out, that can lead to overwhelm.

I know when something new sparks my interest I am a voracious learner. I’m locked-in, immersed.

On The Other Hand…

… when something changes and I have to figure out how the new version works? Ugh! I love novelty, but when I have to get a new phone? Or upgrade some software… I suddenly feel exhausted.

First, I have to forget everything I already know. (My ADHD makes that rather easy.) But then I have to learn a whole new way of doing something. Why?! Why?! Why?!

I’m too busy! I don’t have time! Why did they change it? What was wrong with the old way? And yes, I know, 30 minutes later I’ve mastered this new thing, I’m using it to great effect, and even man-splaining to my wife how it works.

Why Does This Matter?

It matters because TotallyADD.com is about to be re-launched with a whole new look. It’s been several months of work designing, and building it all. Mostly by people other than me. (So there’s a good chance it will work.)

It was a big and complicated process. So why did we do it?

Why bother? Why not leave good enough alone? We have over two million visitors a year, nothing shabby about that. A bunch of reasons.

As much as people loved the videos and blogs, they also told us:
• It was overwhelming, slow to load, and complicated to run
• Material wasn’t searchable by topic
• The shop was confusing
• New visitors were unsure where to begin
• The Connect section was difficult to navigate
• Every section was laid out differently
• The Forums were impossible to search… and kind of ugly

It was time to bite the bullet! We found a company that does great work and they’ve guided us through the whole process. And sometimes we guided them.

Luckily, it’s been worth it!

A Million Tweaks

I’ll post some more images of how the site looks in our next Newsletter. (Don’t receive the newsletter? Sign up here. And make sure you get our Friday Funnies as well.)

My wife Ava and I knew that redesigning the website would not be a linear process. Creative stuff never is.
The first version wasn’t quite us. One friend said, “For a second I thought a Pharma company had bought the site.”

The second version was much closer….

The final version is definitely us. And by ‘us’ I mean you, me and everyone who’s part of the TotallyADD community.
That said, it looks different. We’ll let you know when it’s up and running. When that happens, please, take a few minutes to go exploring.

As you can tell, I was nervous about changing things. At several points I thought, “This isn’t working, maybe we should just leave it as is…” But our team found solutions. And now it’s close to done, almost everything is working and it’s clearly a big improvement. I’m getting really excited about sharing all of it’s newness with you!

That said, if you tell me there’s a brilliant new way to do my banking or a revolutionary new smart phone, I’ll still be upset and moaning, “Why? What was wrong with the old one?!”