I've said this before, but it bears repeating "I Must Be the Most Demanding User in the World." No, seriously. I like stuff that just works. Maybe it's because I've used software that sucks and software that didn't suck. Maybe it's because I've designed software/systems that suck and software/systems that didn't suck. Maybe it's a combo. But when I use a piece of software, the most obvious aspects of it are:
- Where developers or the managers of a product took shortcuts to save time/money instead of improving usability
- Where features were tacked on instead of seamlessly integrated just so they can check a checkbox in the marketing brochures next to "yes, our software does foo"
- Where the software/system blatantly violates the principle of least surprise
- Where the software/system displays an error message when I try to do something that says "to perform foo, you must be in the administrative section of the program." Well, if you already knew that I wanted to do foo, why didn't you just freakin' do foo instead of telling me that I needed to jump through some workflow hoops.
I also harbor no zealotry. Just because the software is "open source" doesn't mean it's good. (I've gotten so many emails to firstname.lastname@example.org asking me why I didn't choose an open source product for the Case Blog system that I added the answer to the FAQ.) Just because Microsoft released a product doesn't mean that that product is good. It's all bad until it proves otherwise.
So in the midst of talking about what services people would like to see and my take on it, I thought it would be good to point out how critical I am of software/systems. I often have a different take on things than the average user. I'm like that Dyson vacuum cleaner guy – "I just want something that works" – only I don't have an accent, vacuum cleaner with my name on it, or a commercial... so... uh... not too much like him.