- By Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Tait, Decision Mechanics Limited
Not one, but two, interesting posts from the blog Jury.me this week.
One is about focusing on the user. Too many apps are developed from a technical perspective — the latest frameworks, user interface widgets, etc.
Great software products come from standing in your users’ shoes — trying to understand their goals. Why do they need this product?
Often it’s the product no one notices that is doing the best job. I have a radio next to my desk. It doesn’t look very impressive and doesn’t have many features. But I only listen to one station, so all I need is great reception — and it does that one thing really, really well. Great product.
It has been said that “the best user interface is no interface.” Indeed.
The second post that stood out was about the importance of shipping. This is related to focusing on the user — you learn a lot about your users when you put a product in their hands.
Shipping is one of the hardest things for a software developer to do. It’s easy to keep enhancing, extending and polishing — give in to “feature creep.” But, your product only comes alive through use. And until you have people using it, you don’t know if you are polishing something valuable.
This is were the concept of the “Minimum Viable Product” is useful. What is the minimum functionality you need your product to have before you ship it? What’s the minimum functionality that your users need? Build that, tidy it up, ship it and then be prepared to learn.
Enlist users. Find out what they need and let them try out your interpretation of that need as soon, and as often, as you can.