To produce the best software, getting to know its users is perhaps the most important and hardest rule to follow. Making good software boils down to a few principles that every developer should follow. Start with these questions.
Do you know what the user wants?
Knowing your user means entering into their everyday habits and experience. To do this, you have to physically observe users in action or get insights into their preferences. If a product development team is completely removed from the user experience, chances are the results will be unsatisfactory.
Are you receiving user feedback?
As a developer, it’s easy to get carried away with ideas that may not reflect what users need in the first place. As tempting it may be to follow the specs without getting user feedback, it’s better to be safe than sorry (and saving dev time) by first asking lots of questions and paying attention to the users’ needs.
Is the software easy to use?
You don’t have to be a coder to know when software is good or bad. Good software that is a pleasure to use and does what it is intended to do is the purpose of software development. Poorly designed software confuses, frustrates or delays the user.
If your software is not user-friendly and practical from the start, forget about the intricate rich functionality. Users are looking foremost for ease of use and intuitive features in an application. There’s nothing worse than slow interfaces, hidden features, hard to reach submenus and unresponsive buttons. Make sure the app is easy to follow and use.
Is the software regularly tested?
As a developer, your goal is to create useful software that provides consistent user experiences and well-tested functionality. While empathising with users and anticipating their needs requires deep understanding, often testing the app functionality and observing the user response to the changes is the best step forward.
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