I really appreciate usable tools, which do what I expect and as a result I love making products which aspire to do the same.
Help Me Do Something
I really enjoy making tools that help people. SoundAmp, the first application we made at GingerLabs was cool because it showed the potential of the iPhone. It took the iPhone and the earbuds, with audio processing in realtime created an experience where the user could control the volume of different sound frequency in either ear. This created a fairly effective but not medically approvable hearing aid.
My AP Algebra teacher told me to use Notability”-my son Seth
Making something that is still quite relevant for learning almost 10 years later is really an ok achievement as far as I’m concerned. I have a hard time with auditory retention, I really wish I had Notability when I was going to school.
Show Me What’s Going On
Feedback for users is so important. I can’t over-emphasize this. The New PlayStation 5’s controllers’ haptic feedback is an example of doing this right. It doesn’t just shake at a constant rate, it can be played like an instrument in time with the game. The extreme inverse is the indeterminate progress wheel. The beach-ball on the Mac, which I’ve come to assume means Sketch has crashed. Funny, I don’t ever even see that in Figma. I come at things from a fix-it point of view. I’ve always done my own tech support so it helps me empathize with people whose job is to… troubleshoot.
Keep me up to date, maybe.
In a world where apps on your phone are automatically updated, there is a push for all software to follow suit. The trick with this, the more critical the application or system is to the users’ job the lower the trust users have in making any changes. We see this in Music applications that have dependencies on a myriad of plugins, I still as of June 2021 have not updated to BigSur because my Softube plugins are broken in the new operating system. At Cisco we saw the same type of hesitancy with Network Administrators, once they have a network up and running, they don’t mess with the working system unless there is a very good reason. When they do, if something goes wrong, it severely damages trust and erodes the chances of future feature adoption.
Manage by Exception
In a world, where data overload is a real thing, seriously, don’t make me find the needle in the haystack. Software is ever increasing it’s capability to recognize patterns and consequently, we should be using that strength to identify potential problems before they materialize.