What Makes Good Software Good, Part 1

Bill LandersSimple Sophistication
First-class online marketing software should reflect patterns found in nature. The most important of these patterns is presenting an elegant exterior that veils the tremendous complexity contained within.
Marketing professionals are sophisticated users who expect their software to simplify the planning, execution and analysis of complex multi-stage, multi-channel online marketing campaigns.

Software developers should remember that simpler is almost always better, and they should resist the temptation of exposing all of the intricate details of the systems and subsystems they have worked so hard to bring to life. I am not suggesting dumbing things down. Rather, balancing the inherent complexity with an uncluttered user interface and an experience that is a natural extension of the way marketing professionals work.

The days of the 500-page user manual and a week of training have come to an end. Users today expect software to have a natural resonance with their tasks and goals. The user should think, “This software fits perfectly, and I cannot imagine any other way of accomplishing this task.” There are many examples of superb software capable of achieving this expectation; software we use every day to perform both personal and work related tasks – without ever reading the manual. Effortless interaction where users learn the software simply by using it, or watching brief screen cast demonstrations, is becoming the expected level of usability.

This is the first of two posts from Bill Landers providing key best practice and work-flow insights from his more than a decade of experience developing software platforms. In case you missed it, check out the second post.

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  1. […] What Makes Good Software Good, Part 1 « The Lunch Pail on 16 Jul 2008 at 11:19 […]

  2. […] here’s a blast from the past here on the Lunch Pail where our CTO, Bill, wrote a piece about What Makes Good Software Good. There are two parts. They’re good reading, and some of the more searched and popular posts […]

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