Exciting Applications Mean Happy Users

At one time a developer could create a command line application with the most horrid and undocumented interface possible, and still get people to use it. That’s because the users were other geeks who loved the complexity of working with computer systems. For these users, part of the thrill of using a computer was the fact that it was hard to do. They saw the skill of using a computer as something that almost made them part of a secret society or possibly magicians of a sort. In fact, it was Arthur C. Clarke who stated, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Today, computers are no longer magic—they’re a well-understood commodity, and users are no longer geeks for the most part, they consist of everyone else who would rather view all technology with the same lack of attention as a light switch. In order to garner attention for your application, you must create usable interfaces that generate excitement—something that many developers have a hard time achieving and a topic that is sadly lacking from college courses.

That’s the reason I wrote, “Creating Excitement for Your Next Custom App.” Most developers can create interesting and useful applications that perform specific tasks, but they have a hard time making the application exciting because they can’t view things in the same way that the user does. This article provides simple techniques that you can use to make your next application a lot more exciting to end users. The focus of the article is to help you see things from the same perspective that your users do so that you can better relate to user needs and become a lot more successful in your development efforts with a lot less work.

We live in a world of extremely short attention spans, sound bites, constant stimulation, and people who have no desire to rack their brains thinking about anything. If you want to be a successful developer today, you really do need to generate the kind of attention that attracts users. It doesn’t matter how interesting your application is if no one tries it. In order to gain a following, you must first interest users in working with your application. Once a user sees how useful your application is, he/she will tell others and your application will become a success, but you won’t go anywhere without generating the needed excitement first. Let me know your thoughts about the article and techniques you use to generate excitement at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.

 

Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at http://blog.johnmuellerbooks.com/. When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. John is also setting up a website at http://www.johnmuellerbooks.com/. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.