I can name a lot of applications that came into the world during the past 10-15 years. All had a solid interface, solid development running into very thorough quality assurance and developmental life cycle. But at the end of the day, these applications couldn’t survive very long in the commercial world.
They had been only running software and not workable software.
In this article, I want to speak about an application design that can lead to workable software.
What makes one application design better than the other?
In the software industry, we have user interface designers. They design design many different components in an application. such as buttons, navigation bars, forms, pages, windows, dialogs. But some applications with almost exact functionalities can be more successful than others.
With exactly the same features, what makes two applications that different that one of them is not used and the other has become very famous?
Nowadays, we are in a society of digital users where day-to-day business is digital. We use social media as a digital way of interacting via information, to produce information. So, the need for a digital way of working increases every day. Today, easier ways of doing things are more interesting or safer.
In my user experience, I need to have a way of design that also gives me a safe feeling. I need to imply a very easy approach of formation. to make sure the user does not feel annoyed or ignored while receiving information from other users. We have this user experience in mind. So what are we talking about today? We are talking about designing your application.
Imagine you are running a hotel…
It is like having guests in your hotel. Workable applications are those applications that users are willing to spend time on. How do you set up your hotel? Usually, you think about how your rooms or your design look like. You also understand how convenient things need to be for your guests to stay longer in your hotel.
What makes a hotel remarkable in a way that guests want to stay longer and come back again?
Is it only the design? Of course not. It also depends on the customer service, accessibility of the services, the information provided, and the quality of your integrated services. Think about your third-party tour guides and taxi drivers. Your guests need to feel safe, welcome, well-informed, and respected.
Another factor is the maintenance of your hotel. Your services should not be low-quality. This includes the shared equipment like an elevator or escalator. Imagine the added layer of frustration that can ruin your million-dollar investment if your guests have to wait for the elevator much longer than normal. Yes, many people do not come back because they say your elevator is too slow! Believe me or not, check booking.com comments on some of the big chain hotels.
If you map this metaphor into an application lifecycle, you need the same approach, plan, design and at the same time performance of each service for the best journey. Your services must be maintainable and sustainable to make sure you always serve your users the best way. The advantage we have in the digital world is that things are not tangible and can be much easier replicated following the right architecture and design. I use the term “Digital Hospitality”. We need “Digital Experience Managers” for our applications and digital products. This person is responsible for making sure we consider every aspect of our digital product.
The bottom line is…
Workable software is software that has an amazing digital journey and experience. It needs to also be performative, maintainable, sustainable, and scalable. We have the benefit of intangible and virtual products. This is something we must take advantage of, especially in terms of cost control and scalability.