Being a developer can be harsh at times. We slave day after day to churn out code, get griped at by our superiors, and lose hours of sleep. When we’re finally done, we can’t think and don’t really want to do anything other than play video games, but even that reminds us of our work. So the last thing we want to do is go out and code more. When we signed up for this, we thought we would be a part of something up-and-coming like Facebook. We saw The Social Network, we know how Zuckerburg and pals started out. Why can’t we be like that? Why aren’t we making the big bucks? My response is, “Why aren’t you?”
All the big things like Facebook, Chatroulette, etc. are so simple compared to the things that the rest of us do on a daily basis. Facebook is just a PHP web app that manages users, granted it’s grown a lot, but so has the support for it. Hell, I wrote “Facebook” in ASP.NET for a Programming Studio course in college. I did it in a month. It was easy. Consider Chatroulette. It was written by a high school student from Russia. It’s just a Flash/Flex web application that uses Flash’s RTMFP protocol and a rand() function to establish a UDP pipeline between two users. I’m not trying to belittle the success of others, but rather encourage the rest of us to be just as successful.
So what do these web apps have in common other than being simple to implement? They’re innovative. They’re simple for people to use. They’re intuitive. So where does that leave the rest of us? What do we do? Well this is a call to arms for us to think about our work and take pride in it. Always keep the user in mind and think of ways to simplify your UI/UX. Think of applications we all use and come up with innovative ways to make it simpler. For starters, compare Google Docs to its Microsoft Office equivalent. Get an ideal for the user-centric innovations in the apps we all love and enjoy.
As a final word: “Go forth and innovate!”
If you have any questions about this blog post, feel free to leave a comment below.
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