Software as a collaborative art

As computer usage shifts from desktop to smartphones and tablets the role of software is resurfacing through apps that are a stark contrast to web sites encased in a browser. Apps offer a broad range of interface options limited mainly by the capabilities of the developer. Of course, that same flexibility gives developers enough rope to hang themselves in a mesh of confusing buttons, swipes, and taps. How to avoid that trap? Appreciate that creating software is a collaboration formed through the judicious thought of individuals. While there are sole-developer shops, most apps are crafted by many voices:programmers immersed in code, graphic designs pinpointing visual details, UX specialists fine tuning interaction, and entrepreneurs passionate about ideas and concepts.

Apps are not only about chasing sales and maximizing revenue. For users apps are not about that at all. We experience apps. The excitement of apps rests in the tactile and visual elements.

While apps will become simpler to produce there always will exist a leading set of apps implementing the latest functionality found in devices. Innovation requires coding. Generally, that requires a team.

In design there’s an adage that good design is invisible. The same goes for software. An app needs to work but, at the same time, should provide a sense of joy and satisfaction in its use. The possibilities within app development will only be brought out through creativity. Dialog among a team caring about the same product and users is always better than one guy working alone in a room. App development is a collaborative art. But as such, the process must be carefully nurtured.

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