Today's thought

Things that work

There is perhaps nothing that peeves me more in this life than using things that should work… but don’t.

I can usually forgive issues with physical objects, as manufacturing everything in the world around us perfectly, every time, is genuinely a marvel. For example, a lightbulb that burns out in half the time — still annoying, but understandable.

But, with an intimate understanding of software and the digital world, my patience is very slim when things don’t work, but should. So many features, tools, and entire businesses just… don’t work… in the ways that they advertise. Many qualms could easily be fixed in an hour of quality assurance (read: actually using the product being sold!) — but many brands simply don’t put in the effort to make absolutely sure things will work reliably in the ways customers expect, usually due to costs.

It would be one thing to not meet an expectation that wasn’t set in the first place. But alas, that’s almost never the case. While the “average” user might not pick up on the nuanced issues, anyone with experience (or their livelihood hanging in the balance) will take issue with a dozen little things that add up to a wholly problematic experience.

Moral: Simply shipping things that work, every time, as expected, will leave a greater impression on customers than any fancy feature set ever could. Do the basics, and do them well.

There is perhaps nothing that peeves me more in this life than using things that should work… but don’t.

I can usually forgive issues with physical objects, as manufacturing everything in the world around us perfectly, every time, is genuinely a marvel. For example, a lightbulb that burns out in half the time — still annoying, but understandable.

But, with an intimate understanding of software and the digital world, my patience is very slim when things don’t work, but should. So many features, tools, and entire businesses just… don’t work… in the ways that they advertise. Many qualms could easily be fixed in an hour of quality assurance (read: actually using the product being sold!) — but many brands simply don’t put in the effort to make absolutely sure things will work reliably in the ways customers expect, usually due to costs.

It would be one thing to not meet an expectation that wasn’t set in the first place. But alas, that’s almost never the case. While the “average” user might not pick up on the nuanced issues, anyone with experience (or their livelihood hanging in the balance) will take issue with a dozen little things that add up to a wholly problematic experience.

Moral: Simply shipping things that work, every time, as expected, will leave a greater impression on customers than any fancy feature set ever could. Do the basics, and do them well.

Hundred Daily™ is a 100-day writing challenge by Aaron Rolston. The goal is to publish 100(ish) words daily & send them out via email. Consider subscribing if you'd like to receive daily broadcasts from me.

Aaron Rolston © 2099

Aaron Rolston © 2099