Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy to be Simply a Customer

I'm a customer and I want to be valued and treated like one.  Our interaction occurred because I needed or wanted a product or service that you offer.  I paid you. If I have a issue with your service or product I expect easy access to a direct and responsive communication channel to resolve them with you.

By default I'm not part of your "<insert company or product> community".  Despite your effort to redefine the term, that's not communities work.  Again, if our seller/buyer interaction was satisfying for me I'm completely happy being simply a customer

I also don't want you emailing me asking if I can help answer other potential customers questions for you, review things, or otherwise do your sales job for you.  That would be similar to the local grocery store asking me to assist others with their self checkout because I've used the self checkout successfully and now have been declared to be part of the "grocery buying community".

Again, I'm very happy to be simply a customer.  Value me as one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Software is a Tool

Software, in all forms, is a tool.  It's that simple. It's frustrating to read and hear declarations insisting "software is an experience!".

You have an experience using it, but it is not an experience itself, it's a thing that a person utilizes to get something done.  Its function and interface design can make that use a positive or negative experience, a productive or wasteful experience. Either way, the software itself is only a tool, a poor or well crafted tool.

Software itself is no more of an experience than the wrench you use to turn a 1/4" bolt is "an experience". The wrench design attributes are only part of an experience, as well as many other factors.  Is the bolt head rounded?  Is the bolt thread-locked or rusted?  Is the bolt head in a place it's hard to get your arm, your hand?  Are you working outside in the heat, the cold, etc?  Those elements as well as the wrench make up the experience, but the wrench alone is not the experience, the wrench is simply a tool.

Software developers need to prioritize designing great software tools that most efficiently and elegantly serve the purpose of getting something accomplished.  When they do that they are more likely to create software tools that consistently become a part of a good use experience.