February 07, 2006
It's not features that make the app killer ...
It's the experience and UI. In my "day" job (in quotes because I seem to do it night and day) as product manager for Qumana Software, I work with both users and developers. I answer users' questions and try to solve their problems. I also work with developers on the next versions and improvements to our blog editor, Qumana. A friend sent this link to eWeek to me this morning on developing software and the constant balance between features, usability, and user experience. Below are the 10 points made ... follow the link for more details ..
1) More features isn't better, it's worse.
2) You can't make things easier by adding to them
3) Confusion is the ultimate deal-breaker.
4) Style matters.
5) Only features that provide a good user experience will be used.
6) Any feature that requires learning will only be adopted by a small fraction of users
7) Unused features are not only useless, they can slow you down and diminish ease of use.
8) Users do not want to think about technology:
9) Forget about the killer feature.
10) Less is difficult; that's why less is more
Is any of this easy to do? No way. Believe me, I know. Being a techie and a geek makes it really hard to see what the issues are. My secret? I give the software to my non-techie friends and see how much explaining is required before they get it. Lots of explaining ... bad. Can I troubleshoot a problem over IM? Is the metaphor clear? Can your mom use it? Or your Uncle Harry who thinks he knows computers. Bottom line test with people, real people. Make nice buttons. Write dialog boxes in English. The end result ... maybe the killer app or at least an app that won't kill you to support!
Posted by Tris Hussey on February 7, 2006 | Permalink
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