Archive for November 2014

Designing your product with your audience in mind

For what it is, it’s a solid device. But the problem is figuring out whom it’s for, and why it matters

via I typed my entire BlackBerry Passport review on the phone’s tiny keyboard.

this simple fact, gets missed quite often, or forgotten as you delve into making something… when in fact the answer to that question should be every product company’s mission statement.

People want Swiss Army Knives

Obviously the intended message is that scalpels are better than Swiss Army Knives. Certainly the scalpel looks simpler.

But most people would rather have a Swiss Army Knife than a scalpel. Many people, myself included, own a Swiss Army Knife but not a scalpel. (I also have a Letherman multi-tool that the folks at Snow gave me and I like it even better than my Swiss Army Knife.)

People like simplicity, at least a certain kind of simplicity, more in theory than in practice. Minimalist products that end up in the MoMA generally don’t fly off the shelves at Walmart.

The simplicity of a scalpel is superficial. The realistic alternative to a Swiss Army Knife, for ordinary use, is a knife, two kinds of screwdriver, a bottle opener, etc. The Swiss Army Knife is the simpler alternative in that context.

A surgeon would rightfully prefer a scalpel, but not just a scalpel. A surgeon would have a tray full of specialized instruments, collectively more complicated than a Swiss Army Knife.

via People want Swiss Army Knives | John D. Cook.

Two 34-Year-Old Aussies Are Latest Techies To Become Billionaires

Atlassian announced this week it had closed a financing round that valued the company at $3.3 billion.

What’s driving such a high valuation for the Australian software shop? A unique business model that has fostered rapid growth and a liquid balance sheet — the latter being a distinction many tech companies can’t claim

Unlike the model of behemoths like Oracle…or Box, Atlassian chose to minimize costs by not investing in sales staff or marketing, focusing instead on research and development. It simply sold their competitively priced products on the website.

“The way companies fail is they don’t make changes. People don’t feel empowered to make change,” says Farquhar.

via Two 34-Year-Old Aussies Are Latest Techies To Become Billionaires Thanks To Sky High Financing Round.

Such a unique business model, make things people like, and SELL them, for real money, and then here’s the kicker… fix and make them better.

Web Apps vs Native Apps

Doing bad web apps is easier than doing bad native apps, but web apps are not by definition worse than native apps. You can do bad native apps, and you can do bad web apps, just as you can do good web apps, and good native apps.

You’re already using web apps in native wrappers without even noticing it. The fact that nobody even notices, the fact that this isn’t a story, shows that, when it comes to user experience, web vs. native doesn’t matter anymore.

Native apps mainly benefit Apple and Google, not their users. It’s not in anyone’s interest to be locked into a specific platform, except for the platform’s owner.

via ignore the code: Web Apps.

Privacy on the Internet


Today I Tried to Do a Simple Thing

And I can’t get one thing done because everything is connected via a web of complexity and missing information to every other thing on the f!*%ing planet.

I’m almost certain there was a time in my youth when I could just identify a task and go do it. Those days are over. Now in order to do the simplest things in life I have to recover a lost password, get disconnected from several 800 calls, dig through old email, delete old accounts and start new ones, upgrade software, and change the ink in my printer.

My new worldview is that day-one of any Internet-related task is just discovering what information you don’t have, or discovering that the software doesn’t do what you hoped.

via Scott Adams Blog: Today I Tried to Do a Simple Thing 11/03/2014.

this is what most users experience quite regularly