Quality of software

I have talked about this before, there is an objective quality and a perceived quality of software. I see too often that the perceived quality of software is not given much attention.

Perceived quality of software has two important aspects, one is the expectation, two is the friendliness of the interaction with you. As a builder of software each interaction with the user of your software is an opportunity to manage expectations. Do not let this opportunity slip. For example you can show the userwhat you have build, sollicit feedback, or ask questions what the user expects. If the expectation is unrealistic try to downplay it or include the expectation in your delivery.

The friendliness of the interaction is even simpler to achieve, which is not to say it is easy. It requires an open and constructive dialog iwth your user. My experience is that most users are open to the fact that the construction of software is a difficult process riddled with problems. Users have a low tolerance for letting them deal with the problems. If you know your software has not been tested properly, be open about it. Tell them, apologize for the fact and ask them how they want to move forward. If your user has an unreasonable request, think again there is no such thing as an unreasonable request. Deal with the question and offer them the options of solving the request and again be open for a dialog.

After all users are humans also and want to be heard. As a software developer let your users feel that you hear them.

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