Michael Lehman and I interviewed David Shadle, Microsoft User Experience Evangelist for this week’s The MicroISV Show. David’s job is to get more ISV’s (including micro-ISVs) to think about building apps users actually enjoy using.
This is not some feel nice bell and whistle – especially for micro-ISVs. User experience is not just an attractive, shiny interface (although that doesn’t hurt) – it’s how hard or easy it it for people to get what they want done with your app. It’s the design and structure of the app. And with the advent of the .NET 3 framework, developers now have some very powerful tools they lacked before for building great user experiences.
An app that’s convoluted, offering too many meaningless options or does things in a way the developer thought was cool and everyone else is baffled by delivers a bad user experience, resentful and sullen users, decreased sales and an unloyal following.
An app that makes it clear how to perform the most important functions the user will have, easily and smoothly, with a structure that makes sense to the people using the app with an interface that attractive and easy to work with delivers a good user experience, enthusiastic users, increased sales and a loyal following.
Which do you want?
Not convinced? Listen to David’s podcast.
[tags]The MicroISV Show, User Experience[/tags]

3 Comments

  1. Simon Plater Reply

    Seriously, if you’re really interested in good design, why bother going to Microsoft’s pages of all places? I mean, come on.
    The only reason you’d be heading there is if you MUST use .NET. But if you’re interested in truly useful design principles, you’d do much worse than heading over to Apple and checking out how properly designed apps are constructed. This is not a Mac vs Windows thing. It’s about design sensibility. Microsoft simply doesn’t get it, a problem shared by too many developers.
    And please, just because Vista gives you the ability to add flashy effects, doesn’t mean you have to use them. Core design comes first.

  2. @Simon,
    Seriously, I know what you’re trying to say; but have you *used* iTunes, or Quicktime, or infact any Apple product on Windows? iTunes especially has *terrible* usability! But hey, it looks nice…

  3. bobw Reply

    Actually iTunes the app is one thing, iTunes+iPod ecosystem is quite another, and has great usability.
    Simon, Microsoft bearbaiting is a time honored tradition – but WPF/Vista/Office12 are more than flashy effects, they change the landscape. If you’re a micro-ISV writing for the WindowOS or MacOS, you have to take what the OS is doing into account…

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