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What makes an Application great?

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  • User profile image
    leighsword

    I think about it over and over... still can not find the answer, would you...Wink

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    Anything written by me...

  • User profile image
    leighsword

    Cybermagellan wrote:
    Anything written by me...

    You mean BUG include? Well, I realized my question is so much big and wide.

  • User profile image
    cmcmsf

    Off the top of my head, I'll say --

    1) It helps the intended users be more productive in their tasks,

    2) It stays out of the users' way,

    3) It does not force them to work harder at learning the application than it does for them to do their job (and, therefore, violate # 2),

    4) It doesn't make the user afraid to use it without the conscious or subconscious fear of it crashing (and, again, violate # 2),

    5) It doesn't force the user to read a manual in order to do at least 80% of what it's meant to automate (in other words, it's intuitive).

    I'm sure others can bring up many other points.  Many developers are good at creating software that works well.  The hard part is satisfying above list.  I have known very few developers and teams who were able to satisfy all of those.

    One of the biggest weaknesses is the ability for developers to place themselves in the users' shoes.  They find it very hard (and often don't even bother) to frame their mindset to the users of their software.  Ignoring that is one of the biggest sins of software development, in my opinion.  This is why "eating your own dogfood" is so very important (but not always possible).  It's so much easier to meet these goals when you are your own target audience.

    If you really want to be proud of the applications you develop, your goal should be to empathize with your target audience.  Otherwise, it is just a job, and you'll do enough just to get by (writing code that just "does" something).

  • User profile image
    Shark_M

    ease of use

  • User profile image
    ploe

    ease of use, reliablility, security, performance

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    leighsword wrote:
    I think about it over and over... still can not find the answer, would you...


    A lot of good points have already been touched on...

    One thing great applications do well is anticipate the user's needs.  For example, if you type "teh" in Microsoft Word, it will autocorrect to "the."  Intellisense in Visual Studio, autocomplete in IE -- people become dependent on these things if they work well.  Context-sensitive menus, task panes -- more examples of this.  The computer is supposed to save people from drudgery, not create work for them... "Anticipating the user" saves time and effort.

    I love iTunes... the iTunes Music Store home page has a graphical, scrollable list of album covers.  Unfortunately, when you click the scroll button, it GOES OUT TO THE INTERNET, fetches the next handful of thumbnails, and then scrolls the list.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Then if you browse around the store some, go back to the home page, and scroll that list of thumbnails again, it GOES BACK TO THE INTERNET AGAIN because the list isn't cached.  Mad

    There should be a thread that goes out and caches all that stuff in the background.  Multithreading = less hourglasses, more responsiveness.  Good applications are intuitive, perform well, are secure, etc.  But great applications anticipate what you will do and seem to read your mind....

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    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    A big thing that doesn't seem to have been touched on yet is that it does what it is supposed to do consistently and correctly.

  • User profile image
    leighsword

    Karim wrote:
    leighsword wrote:I think about it over and over... still can not find the answer, would you...


    A lot of good points have already been touched on...

    One thing great applications do well is anticipate the user's needs.  For example, if you type "teh" in Microsoft Word, it will autocorrect to "the."  Intellisense in Visual Studio, autocomplete in IE -- people become dependent on these things if they work well.  Context-sensitive menus, task panes -- more examples of this.  The computer is supposed to save people from drudgery, not create work for them... "Anticipating the user" saves time and effort.

    I love iTunes... the iTunes Music Store home page has a graphical, scrollable list of album covers.  Unfortunately, when you click the scroll button, it GOES OUT TO THE INTERNET, fetches the next handful of thumbnails, and then scrolls the list.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Then if you browse around the store some, go back to the home page, and scroll that list of thumbnails again, it GOES BACK TO THE INTERNET AGAIN because the list isn't cached. 

    There should be a thread that goes out and caches all that stuff in the background.  Multithreading = less hourglasses, more responsiveness.  Good applications are intuitive, perform well, are secure, etc.  But great applications anticipate what you will do and seem to read your mind....

    I love your great concept and examples, the 'anticipate thread' is more like Intel HT(hyper-thread) tech, what's a pity, Intel isn't a software company, I bet Intel can do a better job than MS.
    I got a point after read your post, I can tell you, but don't laugh at me, it is...great people makes an application great, don't laugh.

  • User profile image
    Erisan

    leighsword wrote:
    What makes an Application great?


    Does the job.
    Fully customizable.
    Extensible.

  • User profile image
    Detroit Muscle

    An application is great if the user uses the software every day and doesn't even know the software is there.

  • User profile image
    Cornelius Ellsonpeter

    I think a great application should leave the user and the developer speechless.

    Linux is such a product.

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    Something is great if you can't imagine your life without it.

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    quality, ease of use,  security, performance (and others in specific context) or just does their job.

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    Linux sucks, why? because is Linux, and because of Open Source. why? 
       
        EasyOfUse = 0;
        Quality = depends -> 0;
        Compatibility = 0;
       
    Can you give Linux to 5-year-old boy?

  • User profile image
    iStation

    Ethereal balance of creativity, clarity, efficiency, robustness, productivity and security! Cool

  • User profile image
    bikini

    What makes an Application great? The lowest common denominator of a bottom line (user base? go figure).

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