A Great Rant About Software Design

Groupware Bad. Everyone in certain circles is going to link to this, so I almost didn't, but then I figured that I seem to have an unusually diverse set of readers — legal, technical, political and others — so why not.

You have to love lines like,

If you want to do something that's going to change the world, build software that people want to use instead of software that managers want to buy.

…which captures one of the problems here at UM: software that sells command and control for the sysops is much more likely be deployed than stuff that lets us actually do stuff.

As for this remark, I'm sure it will be quoted a lot:

So I said, narrow the focus. Your “use case” should be, there's a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid?

That got me a look like I had just sprouted a third head, but bear with me, because I think that it's not only crude but insightful. “How will this software get my users laid” should be on the minds of anyone writing social software (and these days, almost all software is social software).

“Social software” is about making it easy for people to do other things that make them happy: meeting, communicating, and hooking up.

The last graph even strikes me as true.

(spotted via the insightful Many2Many social software blog)

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