Pruning

Software is never done. New ideas develop, new threaths arrive (business wise, security wise). Much like gardening really. Sometimes you can just enjoy the fruits of your labour, but at other times you have to deal with undesired plants that outgrow your crops, crop-eating insects etc. Fruit trees need to be pruned yearly to keep giving fruits. Anyway, I was realizing that I have been repeating this theme as an anology for software development for quite some years now, hence this overview ;)

Be careful with what you ask for

An article, posted about 4 years ago filed in , , , , , , , , & .

Since we all seem to know that every other field in the registration form is another percentage of users failing to register*, we think of alternative ways to gather information. We gamify the user profile completeness by adding a progress bar to our user account, we present a full form after the confirmation link or we ask questions while using the application.

But there is another reason why we might not even ask all the questions. Ask the wrong questions and you may alienate your user.

It can be relatively minor things like picking your favourite colour, where the form just lets you pick one colour, while many have multiple. But it may also be more personal (or one could argue, more political): not everyone defines oneself as male or female, so why only present just these options (and do know that it isn’t particularly nice being referred to as ‘the other’ all of the time).

These issues are well discussed in this [talk by Ca…

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