Developer Ergonomics!

So one of the challenges of building developer platforms and tools is capturing feedback.

Feedback comes in two forms; the first is what normally gets funneled into “Customer" feedback, and focuses more on the features and capabilities of your technology. The other is what I call operator feedback, or in my patch, “Developer” feedback, and while it may seem similar to customer feedback, it’s not, it’s more based on the ergonomics of your technology.

Let me explain. Customer feedback tends to be something like:

“We would like to see a red switch that turns the lights on.” – Customer X

We then develop a red switch that turns the light on and off, but we develop it either based on our own concept of how a switch works or based on a historical precedent (as in, the last time we developed a switch it looked like this).

Developer feedback, is more ergonomic, and is more like:

“That red switch, needs to be longer and have a slight curve to it, because when we have to flick it into the on position during a late night of coding, it’s hard to locate on the wall.”

This kind of feedback extends to most aspects of the technology; APIs, tools and execution.

It’s important to capture both types of feedback, because building great technology is only part of the challenge, making sure people can comfortably use your technology every day is another.


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