Saturday, May 28, 2005

Delivering on Experience

As time goes on, and I get more experience, and hopefully wiser, I tend to see application building in a new way. Not in terms of just mastering the craft of delivering scalible applications, but in terms of delivering good experience to the end user.

And it is this new passion of mine, to deliver good experience, that really makes the technology not as important, that the good experience is delivered on.

This is part of the new trend that I call, Technology Transparent. This is the idea that in the eyes of the end user, it really does not matter what programming language, what server, what coding methodology.

What matters it the good experience. What matters is the kind of questions, end users tend to ask or demand of the applications we create.

Here is a list of some of those questions:

1. How easy is it to use this application?
2. Is there any kind of support or help system for this?
3. How do I train my fellow workers or other users on this?
4. Is this anything like the previous X application we used? If not, that will require more time for training.
5. Will this application stay up 24/7?
6. What kind of security systems do we have, and how hard are they to learn?

This is just like the kind of questions people ask when they switch operating systems, because people are being asked to transfer their paradigm of how they previously did whatever work they did, to a new application.

The learning curve has to be taken into consideration, we can no longer just build the application, and since it was easy for us to figure out how to use it, it must be easy for the end users.

In honesty, it's time for us to shift our awarenes of what we do, instead of being coders and designers, we really are Experience Deliverers.

Because everything we do is what the end user experiences in their ease or lack of ease in their use of the applications.

Let's take a for example, on how user experiences have to shift/adapt frequentally when they change what applications they use.

I remember back in the day, using Wordstar 2000, it was heavily dependent on using odd command combinations, and it took lots of training to learn how to bold, italic, postscript, whatever it is we wanted to do with it.

And now look at MS Word 2000, all graphical icons, and lots of tools, toolbars. That is a huge transformation of experiential paradigm. How can we imagine that people can constantly adjust their paradigms to understand how different applications work.

So from the end user's perspetive, they are getting new/changed/updated applications, but are constantly have to change how they work with them. Because the way applications are created, it's not kept in mind, how it changes the users way of working with it.

Instead of seeing how end users work with their current applications, and make the experience seamless with it, we're constantly changing the wheel, re-inventing the wheel, based on what we feel the experience should be, rather than what the customer really needs.

This goes to the reason we are doing this, I mean we all love creating interesting and wonderful applications, but what good are we doing, if the customers constantly have to re-learn how to use their applications.

So these are my thoughts, and it has driven me to create a new personal motto.

Experience First, Technology Transparent

Because in the end, what really matters to the end user, the technology or the experience?

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting statement you have made here and somewhat uncanny in the sense that you echoed our mantra. Deliver a good experience to our valued clients. I can be tough but in the end it is vital to long-term business relationships and success.

    Good luck in your endeavours.