Readers React to Redesign

When we set about redesigning Quality Progress just over a year ago, one of our main goals was to find a way to update the look and content of the magazine without doing anything that might alienate our readers.

After all, Quality Progress has long been cited by members as the top benefit of belonging to ASQ. Being quality professionals, our readers bring both high expectations and careful attention to detail when they open this magazine.

Some members of the staff, who had been through redesigns at other publications, warned that we shouldn't be surprised if we got some negative reactions. Even though we were confident that we had carefully studied the market and were using good research, the fact is you never really know how something is going to be received until you put it to the test.

Now, three months after the redesign debuted in the March issue, I'm happy to report that the initial results are in, and that they are overwhelmingly positive. Readers have told us that they find the new format much easier to read and the change in content a valuable improvement for their professional development.

"The new look of Quality Progress is exceptional," wrote one reader. "You have shown what 'reinventing yourself' really means."

Compliments are always nice to hear, but it's just as important to listen to comments that aren't quite so positive. While we didn't hear any opposition to the redesign, we did get some suggestions for improvements. We appreciate these suggestions because we know that reader expectations are continually on the rise and that we must act to meet those expectations. What satisfies today may well fall short tomorrow.

Like the rest of ASQ, the magazine has expanded its focus from a narrowly stated definition of quality to the idea of advancing performance excellence. This magazine's mission statement includes two very aggressive goals, "to be the world's leading source of timely information about quality principles, tools, and techniques" and to "deliver the means by which individuals, organizations, and society can improve."

We know we cannot meet those goals by standing still, and you can be assured that we won't rest on our laurels. At Quality Progress, we have come to recognize that a redesign is a process that never really stops. As the world around us changes and presents new opportunities, this  magazine will evolve so that we can take advantage of those opportunities for the benefit of our readers.

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Brian J. LeHouillier
ASQ Director, Programs and Operations

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