Good Software is Good for Users

Software is a new product, one of the many social services we have invented. And it is important to consider it a social service – not just a way of making money.

Companies, who make most of the software – often forget this, and make software that is hard to use – and defective. And show little interest in making it better. Their attitude seems to be “We are important, and the users are not. They will use whatever we give them, whether they like it or not!” They don’t say this, of course – but it doesn’t take a genius to read their minds, and see what is really going on there.

Their primary objective should be to make a product, or service – that is easy to use, and one people want to use. Designing this into software can be easy. Software is always a combination of two things (1) processing going on in the computer (that the user cannot see) – and (2) information that is presented to the user, for his response. Whenever this is done, there must be a location on the screen, asking “Are you having trouble with this?” If the user clicks on this, he is presented with a form he can use to describe his problem.

This user input must be treated with respect – as important information. He should be given an automatic response, giving him an incident number, and the problem sent to two places – one inside the company, and one outside the company – to a government agency – that will track how well the company is doing.

Getting the government involved is important. It is responsible for the overall health of the economy. Individual companies are only concerned with themselves – and sometimes not even that. Companies fail frequently – and the government should be keeping track of this also.

I worked for twenty years in the Computer Industry in California – from 1980 to 2000 – and I never worked on a single successful project – and most of the companies I worked for (and there were a number of them) went out of business – taking their investor’s money with them. A huge amount of money went down a rat-hole, and was never seen again. And no one was upset by this “That’s just the way things are!”

America went from being powerful, to being helpless – the victim of mysterious forces it created itself.

Good software companies test their products thoroughly – and make sure they are easy to use and have no bugs in them. But I never worked for one of this breed, that came along later.

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