Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Simpler is better!

The best way to vouch customer experience is to design your applications as simple as possible. Hiding the complexity behind the scenes and making things simple and stylish to the user is the mantra to succeed in IT today. Over the years one company has excelled in delivering the easy to use software, yes I am talking about Google.

I was just trying out Google sketchup, and felt they live up to their name again.

Per my analysis this is what makes Google a dominant player in the market. Consistency in delivering simple to use user interface, the core functionality always works and only then they start adding new features, any new application they build has a small comprehensive youtube tutorial (the release mechanism is always the same), brief write up in their blogs and the tag "beta" to it.

The tag beta works out well, as it creates a mindset not to expect more from the software and the bugs are taken in a lighter sense as it is just beta. But the beta itself is good!.(It is not that there are no bugs, I have found bugs in gmail - label coloring. Having a label list > 20 and try to add a color to a label automatically scrolled the page to the bottom and wouldn't allow to choose the label I'm interested in. Do not know if they fixed it.)

The time taken for installation is also very important for small and powerful software such as instant messenger. Try downloading and installing Yahoo messenger you feel the bulkiness of the application, taking significantly much longer time at least 7-10 times of the time required by Google talk. Choosing the powerful language and tools appropriately for the application you have decided to built is a huge differentiator.

Just take the example of the search engine page or simply, you just see few simple images and text. One should have noticed the search results by Google, at the bottom of each webpage there are set of images "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOgle", the number of o's denote the set of new pages with results. This allows the already cached image to be loaded and makes the search results appear/load much faster.

Organizing the categories of the softwares and periodically changing the highlighted software in the main Google page is a very small thing, but those stuff adds up to the power of Google.

No comments: