Great Thoughts on Options in Software

November 27, 2005 at 11:53 am | Posted in Software Engineering | 13 Comments

Too Many Options! Matt has his usual wonderful thoughts, this time on options in software. Having once sold a piece of software with roughly this many options (shown on left). Matt’s right — most people won’t use the options and you can always expose a plugin api for it if you have to.

Good job Matt! This was a gutsy post to write — what Geek doesn’t want features? Having big options dialogs makes you look like you have tons of features. And you do, just not usable ones. Its all about the 80 / 20 rule and clearly you understand that. And, while Joel would argue that the 20 is always different, I don’t buy that. While there always are differences, there are also commonalities that, if you take the time to understand your users, can be leveraged to everyone’s advantage.

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