Platt's 3 Laws of Software

by dotnetpete 15. June 2010 14:47

David Platt's article in the May edition of MSDN Magazine describes beautifully something I have been trying to put my finger on for a while now. His article is here.

In summary

  1. Your software has no value in and of itself.
  2. Software increases a user's happiness either by helping a user accomplish task or putting the user in a pleasureable state e.g. games.
  3. Users do not want to think about using your software.
Further on David quotes a retired NFL referee (but this would/should apply to referees of all sports), "We must do an outstanding job today because we don't want people to remember us. We must work the game so expertly that, later, it will seem as if we weren't even there".

To me this means software being an extension of the user, working within the user's defined rules and regulations and where possible not hindering the user by making them work the way the software was designed to work. Software should work the way the users want it to. I will qualify that to say the way users want to within their budget and sense of reasonableness. After all if customers had an unlimited budget they could still come up with wacky solutions that no one can use.

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