Many people think that the main issue with software development is about how to make it. OK, that is hard, but can be learned. But what about users? In my experience many systems were developed to satisfy IT department perspective or to accommodate developers view and that can lead us to bad UI experience. Why? Because something logical for IT professional isn’t often logical for others.

As chief architect I have been examining diverse systems. Some of them were very user friendly (lay people user friendly) and some of them were not. When I tried to correlate that to the price there were many non-logical conclusions. Unfortunately, there are many systems that try to force users to accommodate their logic. Somewhere it goes OK, and somewhere they have great problems. That occurs specially in heath software that has to be created to help medical professionals by giving them good tool for producing medical data and to quickly retrieve it for making medical decisions and conclusions. If they have to loose time to find something in the software, we haven’t done a good job in development.

How to avoid such problems? My way is to spend more time with users. For example, I have been developing software for university admissions. After first version of software was in release I have been sitting in the reception desk and trying to do all jobs as a new one in the reception. I have entered data to the system as a user and talked whole day with others in the reception. What was the outcome? I wrote several full pages of seen non-logical procedures, bugs, and needed software extensions. Every day after working in admissions reception I was trying to change software to be ready for the next day. The result was very usable software, satisfied reception workers, satisfied management and dramatically lowered error in processing in the same time with time shortening. The same job that have been doing in few days, now is done in one-two hours.

You ask why don’t developers do that? Well they are engineers and they do not want to mix themselves with reception desk workers. I am orthodontist with PhD and certified professional developer, but when I do development the main goal is to make better product and to succeed in that mission I am ready to do whatever is needed. In development you have to forget your ego and to focus on making good and usable software. That is the reason why I have earned such great respect both from top management and the lowest wage workers. I assure you that that approach is a winning one.

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