Designing From The User Out

I still see handfuls of large software companies creating sub-par web experiences. Stuff that feels broken or wobbly. I stopped using Evernote because of a very annoying bug it had where it was almost impossible to switch between offline and online without it erasing all of your changes. This is annoying, especially when you're on a laptop, jumping between coffee shops. Or what about apps like Asana that get so advanced that they turn into giant hunk of screen bloat. Software still sucks. Web-based software is no exception. This has little to do with the technology and everything to do with the developers' and designers' attention to detail. Or better said, their lack of attention to what the user is experiencing. If I use your app, and it crashes or erases something I spent 10 minutes writing, I suddenly mistrust your app forever. I can no longer use your software with confidence. The only thing left to do after that is go back to the old way before I found your app or find a replacement. There's a lot of work put into building software. And a small percentage of that work seems to be spent on tweaking the user's experience. Instead we all talk about building a system or getting a re-design. None of which matter at the end of the day. Technologies, CMSs and designs alone do not get your users closer to justifying the reason they paid for your software. Sell a micro-vision. Products that align with the user's values are what inspire them. You have to sell a vision of how they're going to use your product to do great things. Focus on your app's experience first. The first impression a user gets when signing up to your app. You don't have to be a social genius or possess any special skills to focus on the user. It's not something you need to go to university to study. Psychology, design skills and copywriting will help you out. But it's simpler than that. Here's how to focus on the user everyone is screwing it up (including me): Your customer only sees the tip of the iceberg of all the work put into the app. Here's an interesting question: What if you spent 80% of your polishing the tip of the iceberg, while leaving the inner workings up to good practice and sound judgement? What if, instead of building around technology, we built around the user and stretched technology to get there? We might just have a product people want to use.