Why we love some software more?
Software are every where and our love with some of them keeps rising every day.
This morning, I was visiting a Dentist for my wife’s root canal treatment and I was pleased to see how easily the Doctor could bring a moveable arm with X-Ray facility hooked into a PC and with just a click, the X-Ray of contaminated tooth was on the screen to start the work on. I could remember how difficult it was some years back, when we will have to go to another hall for an X-Ray that will get printed on a sheet, we will bring it back on our next appointment and then Doctor would start the procedure.
Software is there in my car which makes smart decisions, it is there in my phone when I make a call, it is every where. But why do we love them? And more precisely why we love some of them more than others? Why we prefer Google to search internet though there are many others available? Why we put our hand to every new model of iPhone that Apple rolls out though there are endless choices of smart phones around? Why we use Facebook more than other social networking tools? Well, I could think of a list of top three reasons for them as below.
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– It “Just works”
This covers all form how easy is to get hold of it, how quickly it gets installed and working and how well it solves your problem with least effort of yours. Say how many times, your search on Google failed and you tried some other search engine?
So ask this question to yourself: “What is the problem my user is trying to solve using my software and how can I make their life easy?”. Once you take ownership of user’s pain, they get partnered with you for the gain.
This is so important that Apple has it as it’s punch line.
– It is always there
The website that keeps on disappearing and the application that keeps on hanging brings no love. The expectation standard is very high these days and all of us want a 24×7 working code. How many times, you opened Facebook and it did not got filled with lot of updates in a few seconds?
So ask this question to yourself: “How should I invest in the infrastructure and quality of the software such that it never fails?”. Then plan some tests to make sure that your ship keeps sailing whether it’s sunshine or rain 🙂
– It is easy to use
I have seen 4 year old kids and 60+ years old senior citizens to successfully search some thing using Google. You don’t need to read the manual if you want to start playing Angry Birds, do you?
So ask this question to yourself: “How I can make my software being used by every type of user I can imagine?” And it is not just making it do trivial work, you should also care about the expert users. Like Google search has many hidden keywords like “define: “ “time in “ etc.
And as programmers, testers, project managers, document writers, if we could achieve just three, we can have our users fall in love with our software too 🙂 Can you think of other priority items to this list please?