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

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?!”



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TotallyADD.com is an independent website created & owned by Big Brain Productions Inc. (Rick Green).  We tell you this because so many people ask if pharmaceutical companies paid for any of this and the answer is absolutely not.  Purchases in our shop, and our Patreon community pays for content creation.

6 Replies to “I Hate Change. I Love Novelty. An ADHD-Friendly Website Grows Even Friendlier”

  1. Laughing! Updated phone about 3 weeks ago. One application wouldn’t work. Part of updating is the recommendation to turn off the phone, then re-start so I made sure to do that first. Spent hours on laptop, and phone trouble shooting how to get it running. Reading massive numbers of ‘tips’ on laptop website AND app website until words swimming before my eyes. Would suddenly notice time, “AGGH! I’m going to be late for ____(insert event). Set aside. Try again another day, or before bed (bye bye sleep) . . ad nauseam..
    Thankfully, there is this thing called online assist chat for many apps. Once there, problem fixed. LOVE the online chat helpers.
    Sometimes I’ll figure things out on my own — but I’ve been told more than once I shouldn’t impulsively just try something without evaluating the consequences. ME??? Impulsive? Oh yes.
    Looking forward to checking out the new design.

  2. It does seem like a paradox – we love the novel, yet struggle with change! Just one of the MANY apparent contradictions associated with this condition! I’m curious about what techniques or skills do folks use to cope with the frustration that comes with having to learn new systems all over again? I just recently moved and I can’t seem to get my internet and wireless printer to work. After endless calls to HP and my internet provider I’m still baffled and befuddled! Aragon! Hahaha!!

  3. @wildweeder, I hear you. I keep putting off updates on my phone.

    Then when I finally bite the bullet… or byte the bullet… I actually like the new design, but figuring out how things work can take days!… Okay, hours… Okay a minute or two.

    Which, with my ADHD feels like hours. Or days!

    Explain about the Online Assist Chats for the apps. Many people may not be aware of them.

  4. Rick I sure hope the type is bigger on my ipad than I am looking at now. If your material wasnt so darn informative nay essential I would skip it in a flash. All kidding aside I am really looking forward to seeing the new site.

  5. Rick you mention how we love new things and gadgets and are not afraid to dive into new technology. This is a tip for all of us who have this “gift” and in this case it is a gift. In 1981 i was one of those adventuresome people who was mesmorized by the new small computers and bought The Adam computer by that brilliant Toy company Mattel. A few years later I purchased a Mac computer from Apple and Microsoft Word, and excel for mac and an inexpensive laser printer. Excel was in use on mac years before the PC version was available.. A few years later Netscape was added to the software. This was the late 80s and if I had been even reasonably astute i would have matched my purchases of hardware and software with purchases of stock.
    The Mattel or apple or microsoft or AOL stock alone would be worth many millions of dollars. each. this was the 80s.
    Many other pieces of hardware and software were purchased to support IT function for my company and almost all produced similar results.
    And that is the Tip. Our willingness some would say need to take risks can be the source of that retirement nestegg that we know we will need. When we purchase something we strongly believe in enough to spend our hard earned savings on consider investing in the stock as well .

  6. Dear Rick,
    Thank you for being at the Conference in Atlanta.
    I needed you there. I needed to think and laugh at the same time. My first day was 3 am Mountain time up to get to the plane. Dead tired upon arrival, brain was mush, but managed the Marta Train ride anyway. In bed by 11 Atlanta time, stopped reading at midnight, woke up at 4 (not by choice) went to exercise room, did more in 30 minutes on bike and elipticalizt that I probably should have, but it woke my mind up. re-checked Meetings I sign up for in July. Changed some, didn’t matter for the most part, as I made most all decisions at very last minute anyway. All that forethought to waste. Some worked out some I regretted. Paced a lot, wondered in various ways to Peachtree Center Food Court outside, inside, mixed circled etc, until I could finally do it blindfolded on the last day, though I was usually disoriented on all previous trips. Anyway, you asked me what I thought of the new web site design. I looked at it that evening on my computer, and really liked it. It was easy to understand, move around in and “me” friendly.
    It was late, and I usually use my phone, but I really thought, maybe I should get Broadband again.
    You have helped me understand so much, reading what you’ve written, watching you, your videos, hearing the struggles and successes.
    Do any of your videos, help people who are lost that need to take a somewhat tortuous route (much like multiple trips instead of just reading a map, to get to a food court, with the end advantage of knowing all the things along the route, that others might have missed, but will never use).
    “Formatting your life to do the things you never thought you wanted to do”. That would be a good title for me. Just one of many thoughts for now.

    I was reminded at the Conference, that I am not alone, and I am grateful for that. I just have to ditch the protective shell of past experiences to accept it.
    Laughing and crying at the Conference Talent Show in the same moment is a start.

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