Ayende @ Rahien

Refunds available at head office

Enter the demoware

I am writing about documentation at the moment, and I found myself writing the following:

I don’t think that I can emphasize enough how important it is to have a good first impression in the DSL. It can literally make or break your project. We should make above reasonable efforts to ensure that the first impression of the user from our system would be positive.

This includes investing time in building good looking UI, and snappy graphics. They might not actually have a lot of value for the project from a technical perspective, not even from the point of day to day usage in some cases, but they are crucially important from social engineering perspective.

A project that looks good is pleasant to use, easier to demo and in general easier to get funding for.

This also includes the documentation, if we can do something in a short amount of time; we get a level of trust from the users. “Hey, I can make it go bang!” is important to gain acceptance. The first stage should be a very easy one, even if you have to design to enable that specifically.

After reading that, I quickly added this as well:

Note, however, that you should be wary of creating a demoware project, one that is strictly focused on demoing well, and not actually add value in real world conditions. Such projects may demo well, and get funding and support, but they tend to fall into the land of tortureware very rapidly, making things harder to do, instead of easier.

Beware of the demoware.

Comments

LukeB
09/21/2008 12:47 PM by
LukeB

I'm just about done building some demoware and am thankful that svn has revert ability.

Mike Brown
09/22/2008 07:06 PM by
Mike Brown

Control Component vendors should definitely read this...as a matter of fact most developer tool vendors should. When their sales people demo the code it looks amazing. When you make the purchase reality strikes...you've just bought a pile of platinum plated poo.

Comments have been closed on this topic.