Quick fix

I was really impressed with the following passage from a paper by Danah Boyd asking Is MySpace just a fad?

Bugs make technologies seem alive, particularly if they're acknowledged and fixed. They give texture to the environment and people are impressively patient with it if they feel like the architects are on it. It makes the architects look vulnerable which brings them back down to earth, making them real and fallible, but giving them the opportunity to do good. They let the benevolent dictator really serve the people.

Of course, that's no excuse for developers to write sloppy code, but it's good for tech support to keep this in mind. I've had situations where a user was very upset (sometimes yelling at me) for some obscure bug and they were shocked when I actually got the bug fixed, tested and delivered the fix quickly I think most of our users have become accustomed to dealing with the lousy tech support for QuickBooks and other products and they don't expect a response like that. For example, we found a problem in the QuickBooks SDK that is causing us real grief with our application and I don't expect QuickBooks to get this resolved anytime soon. My point is that sites like MySpace are changing the way users expect bugs to be fixed. The larger, more traditional software companies need to adjust their tech support and development to support this new group of users.

Advertisements