Some few weeks ago, I had to pull the plug on one of the systems I have loved fondly for years when I was a student at Midlands State University. I am of the opinion that the MSU eLearning Platform was one of the key defining moments of MSU becoming pace-setting institution in ICT solutions. The technology world is dynamic and change is inevitable and I was one of the developers who was tasked with the honour to develop the successor (NEXT GEN) of the platform and I did that with great care not to offend user nostalgic sentiments at the same time making the platform more powerful in ways users might not realise.
Legacy attachment may be a sentimental driver of change aversion, but it feels no less valid to the user. Familiarity breeding liking is a proven phenomenon referred to as the mere exposure effect. When a product changes, it can offend our nostalgic sentiments – even if the changes are ultimately beneficial.
We look back with affection at old products and their clunky designs. (Indeed, there is a growing market catering to nostalgia-driven re-releases.) The lesson is clear: users feel fondly towards legacy systems, and newer releases often compare unfavourably to a sentimental eye.