What makes a great software product? A great software product satisfies and fulfills a deep need for its users. It changes the way people do things and often times how industries operate. The market embraces quality products. The top software products make people more creative, productive and better at their craft. Great software products are addictive. They not only solve the problems for the users, but also create joyful experience and interactions for them. Here is a glance at some of the top qualities of highly successful software products:
1. User experience:
More often than not the difference between a successful and unsuccessful software product is not the features, but the user experience. The user experience makes a software product usable. It is not the first, but usually the best products that rule the markets.
A great software product is consistent. Consistency in design interfaces makes the products easy to follow. The Principle of Least Astonishment says that “When two elements of an interface conflict or are ambiguous, the behavior should be that which will least surprise the human user.” Consistency in design, data visualization and operations are highly desirable for a software product.
Great software products are completely reliable. A product that works seamlessly without any interruptions and with complete predictability establishes trust. Software products are used for launching satellites, managing banking transactions and data for billions of users across the world. The reliability of a software product is extremely crucial for its success and mass adoption.
What problem does the product solve for the customer? People essentially use products for solving their pain points. For e.g. Whatsapp made real time texting possible. It solved an essential need for people. It provided a solution to an existing need and became instantly popular. Users embrace the product, when it provides solutions to their existing problems and pain points.
The top software products change with time. They are adaptable to new environments and user needs. The constant evolution in technology makes it absolutely necessary for products to adapt quickly. For e.g the way software applications are used has changed a lot, now users want everything to be operated from their mobile device. The top software products change and adapt to keep pace with modern technological trends.
The best software products are available everywhere depending on the needs of the user. They are not restricted in terms of the environments. They are accessed from various operating systems, browsers, devices alike. The deployment models of top software products are also flexible as per the needs of the operating environments.
7. Performance & Scalability:
The performance of a software product is very important for user experience. Gone are the days when users would put up with a slow application that wastes their time. Today the best software products are built to create smooth interactions with users and reduce application wait time. Successful software products also scale well with growing users and adoption.
8. Change the way industry operates:
The top software products change the way industries operate. iTunes changed the way people buy music, it created a digital music store that transformed the industry. Skype transformed the way people do business. Uber transformed the way people commute, AirBnB changed the travel industry. The top software products not only make things more efficient, but many times drastically change the way industries operates.
9. Intuitive and easy to master:
How easily users can interact with the products is a critical success factor. The best products don’t require manuals and instruction guides. They are intuitive and easy to learn. The ease with which users are able to pick up the features determines the usage of the product.
10. Unique features:
There are plenty of products available in the market. Every product needs to differentiate itself. When a product offers something truly valuable and unique, it gets noticed. The unique features of the product are important for attracting customers. Cloning existing products seldom works. When Google launched gmail in 2004, there were several email providers. However, gmail differentiated itself with its unique features and usability aspects grabbing the market share of other products.
11. Mass Appeal:
The best software products have a mass appeal. They cater to a wide range of users across various industries. They offer tools and features that create value for users. With the growth of cloud based platforms, it is easier to benchmark the number of users for a particular software product. The best software products typically cater to a huge user base and evolve frequently as per the needs.
12. Save Time and Efforts:
The hallmark of a great software product lies in its ability to make things better for its users. The successful products respect user’s time and efforts. They are developed with empathy for the users. Great products are built with users at the heart. They are meant to create value for their users.
Software products are changing the way everything operates around us. They provide simple ways to accomplish complicated tasks and use technology to deliver the solutions. Whether it is day to day operations or complex business decisions, softwares are powering & fast tracking things. As we advance into the age of technology, the future will be intriguing and software products will be shaping the world.