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General Musing

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Posts Tagged ‘solution

Creating a Solution for Everybody? #business

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Problem

I often build nice tools for myself, often customize them to myself with no regard for what a general users wants or needs. This is because it’s for me, and not for another, before I decide whether I release this under GPL or try to sell it I always ask myself the following questions before I make it ready to ship:

  • Is there really a problem?
  • Does my audience have this problem?
  • Is there a solution which is better for my audience?

Let me take you through my thought process so you might better understand what I mean.

Is there really a problem?

In the case of some solutions I create, like the or the scripts I wrote, there really is a problem for others and myself. This doesn’t mean that everybody has this problem, just that I have it and that others probably have it too. It a problem with an easy solution, and something which can be quickly put together and released.

With other things I create, such as my script to take the items I download with and order them in bundles sorted by audio, video, document or other, there is a clear problem for me, and this might not be a problem for others or this might not be the solution for others.

Does my audience have this problem?

In the case of the YouTube scripts there was clearly a problem for others, this functionality was not available. For Roxen CMS it was a case of this making life easier. Looking even further back I wrote a script which added a button for GMail rather than going into a pulldown menu to mark (un)read, this was downloaded quite a number of times and offered something that Google was not offering at that time.

Is there a solution which is better for my audience?

This is always a question, the solution I create is often the best for me or the best which was available at the time. It doesn’t have to be a good solution for others at all, it might not even work for others because it is too customized to my user experience that it neglects the user experience of others.

Taking the case of the Juice script all the directories are hardcoded for my system, they might work for somebody else and they aren’t designed to. The current version doesn’t clean up after itself, which means there is quite some mess left after the scripts are run. It deletes everything it doesn’t know, so it doesn’t take into account things that my audience might want such as images.

Image source: arjin j

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

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