#1 Give something back to users
Computers are made to make people’s live easier, do something that makes life easier/better for end user.
Dogfood: It should solve my problem, very important that me the inventor need it also and i must be an intensive user.
Reference: - http://paulgraham.com/startupideas.html
Always consider the end user point of view
How would my main target audience use it use it? Does the UI makes sense and is obvious, could things be simplified further.
UI: Easy and simple to use
The ui of the tools determine / limit their usage (success in adoption, incentive a certain type of design, etc…). Ex:
- GPS on the phone, maybe people not aware they should downloads maps before, thus making typical experience fairly unsuccessful and low adoption.
- Euro money, nations had a money interface change, whenever a nation goes from a money of 100 to 1, then 1 looks small and not much -> incentivates spending (? just a theory).
Requirement: must be easy and get out of the way, user does not need to know internal technology details. Do Roleplay, imagine how a user without knowing the technology details would use it.
Good example google search box, the most useful and simple (to use) application ever ?
- If app has many commands make them search-able (example: lightTable or sublime_text find command). Use search box instead of endless nested menus, so that users only need to have a vague idea how it was named, don’t make them learn endless nested menus or shortcuts.
UI is a key thing, needs constant constant curation and re-thinking, it should enable a good workflow, should be a multiplier of the program core abilities, UI is not just a way for user to reach its core abilities, think of Ableton live UI, that even breaks with the original paradigm of the music production and mixing, when needed, and takes advantage of computer abilities to make for a better workflow.
- Backend is an independent program exposed as a service (by an API endpoint), an application is then built by using several independent services (principle of composability). Follows Server <-> client model. (example: SuperCollider, end users can use whatever language they favor to communicate in a very simple protocol to the server)
- Do simple API’s (REST like?)
- The services are built independently and their implementation details are hidden (each doing 1 thing well).
- This allows to replace backends while keeping same api interfaces.
Allows to re-use the api services for different applications, on different UI interfaces for example, and to be re-used by others.
API product tutorials
An API style of product is a product made to be re-used (as all should be), and that requires proper references on information how to use it:
- Online documentation, maybe a getting started quick doc.
- Ready made examples
- Online video training, setup, examples, walk-troughs.
Keeping in touch with the product community and maintaining an active community is key.
- Forum, to communicate bidirectionally with users and solve common FAQ’s.
- Maybe a dedicated FAQ section.
- Regular news means a lively, active (& trustworthy) product.
- Youtube videos, with demos, news, walk-troughs.
- Social Media, keep a page and feed on: FB, TW, etc…
The visuals of how the product is exposed to end users, logo, brand design, colors, styles, approach that should be always consistent recognizable and associated to the product. Helps to make a stronger consistent product.
New vs Old
There’s a balancing act of old and new products, not all new products are good, most of them will be unsuccessful (how to distinguish the good new early ?). But the future is with disrupting the old, creating newer, more efficient ways or how some say is really by progressively re-inventing the old. (Also is there any real new ? I would say is more a progressive evolution, like the natural evolution theories)
At the same time some old things were too advanced for the time, that they were not adopted immediate and got forgotten (Lisp, Smalltalk). There are excellent gems of the past that are worth re-using in the future.
Would imagine that being able to leverage new technological breakthroughs when re-inventing more efficient ways to do the old is the way to go ? ex:
- Skype, replacing old telecoms with internet cheap phone.
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