Software should take sides

In their great book “Getting Real“, 37signals offer striking, plausible recommendations for building successful software, like this one:

“Decide what your vision is and run with it. And remember, if they don’t like your vision there are plenty of other visions out there for people. Don’t go chasing people you’ll never make happy.”

Related recommendations are addressing passion (ch. 2), targeting (ch. 4), minimalism/ leanness (ch. 3 and 5), or revisability (ch. 6).

1. I think several of their arguments would also support the idea that usable apps should cater to cognitive styles:

Innovative mind-tools can no longer be equally optimized for different kinds of people (#105), but have to take decisions. (For example, an application optimized for users who like to focus on narrow contexts, cannot at the same time make people happy who like to work within wider contexts.) The closer these modern tools get to the mind being assisted, the more skin-tight must they fit, and the tougher are the decisions they must take.

2. Another advice suggests that software should be a tool for human solutions rather than trying to be the comprehensive solution that hides the choice of tools:

Human Solutions: Build software for general concepts and encourage people to create their own solutions”.

See also my #117 on transparent tools.

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