Saturday, November 17, 2007

The WOW factor in software


I care a lot about the nice nifty features that takes a software from being just a good software to a great software. It makes me feel that the developer really cared. I know how features are cut and these making it to the product indicate a mature, well thought-out execution.

Joel in his How to demo software writes

"bump into all the nice little “fit and finish” features of your product. Oh look, that column is halfway off screen. No problem. I’ll just drag it over. (“Wha!” the audience gasps, “you dragged a column in HTML?”) Oh, look, this feature is supposed to be done by next Tuesday. I’ll type “next tuesday” in the due date box. (“OMG!” they squeal. You typed “next tuesday” and it was replaced with “11/20/2007”)."

I absolutely agree to this. I've seen Microsoft Office time and again do that. The first time I fired up a PowerPoint presentation on a dual screen I gave that same squeal "OMG! the slide show start on one and I get the presenter view on the other with full access to the notes!!!!". Even 3 days back I used the same mode for a presentation on Aspect Oriented Programming and felt happy about using the product.

However, there's the other category of software which doesn't work in first place and tries to be smart on top of it. There's nothing worse than this. You look at these in disgust and head over to the dumber but working competition.

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