Girl using a laptop

Users First. Seriously.

Building user friendly products should be the main goal

As someone who designs and builds apps for a living, I think a lot about what goes into making a good ones. The answer to that and pretty much any other product in the world is putting your customers first. What does that mean exactly?

Building user friendly products should be the main goal of any developer. It seems like a simple concept considering the users ultimately end up paying your salary. Or, that we shouldn't even need to write an article about such trivial things as making products that your customers actually like. Sadly, there are still many developers and creators out there that still don't get this. Here's an example to show you what I mean. While building an app the developer decides to add a cool new feature that will track their GPS location. It will take a very long time to implement, and require several resources. The developer decides it will be worth it and goes ahead. After releasing the shiny new feature he expects a wave of gratitude from his users, who will surely love this feature! There's only one problem... the users HATE this feature. It turns out that the users hate the idea of being tracked while using the app, and it's running down their phone batteries at double the normal rate. So what went wrong here?

Lack of research. Plain and simple. If you want to know what someone is thinking, the easiest and most direct way to find out, is to ask them. If the developer had only done some research before adding that new feature he could have found out that 8 out of 10 users would NOT like that feature. He might have even found information that could have warned him about the battery drainage issue. Instead, now he sits thinking about all the time and money that was wasted on a bad feature that no one wanted.

Do you always design with the users in mind? Or, are you a rogue developer who cares more about using all the new tools and plugins you can get your hands on? Even if no one actually wants them.

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