Speak to any other app developers, and you’ll probably notice that we all share a handful of personality traits between us. Firstly, we generally spend a bit too much time indoors. Secondly, our reading material seems to primarily consist of industry magazines and the latest articles on app innovations and technologies. Thirdly – and this is the point of this article today – we have a tendency to be perfectionists, and rarely find satisfaction in the work we complete.
It’s true: no matter how much effort we put into our apps, platforms, and interfaces, we pretty much always look over the finished item with a highly critical eye.
Sure, the clients might be happy, and our apps may find their way to the top of the App Store charts… but that doesn’t stop us from experiencing feelings of irritation and thoughts that if we had a bit more time, we’d change that colour, make that transition a little smoother, adjust the layout and formatting… you get the picture.
Look, we’re not saying we’re all self-destructive artists, suffering for our passions like 19th century poets (although we all know at least one app developer who fits that bill pretty well…), but there’s no doubt about the fact that relentless perfectionism is a bit of a problem in our community. On the one hand, this isn’t necessarily a majorly bad thing. After all, it’s our perfectionism and striving for new heights of excellence that keeps us on our toes, and ensures we’re always up-to-date with new innovations and ideas.
However, on the other, it isn’t exactly the healthiest approach to our work, and it’s usually caused by a lack of correct perspective on what it is that we do.
With that in mind, we thought we’d write a blog today on how app developers can take a step back from their obsessive traits, and start thinking about their creations in a more constructive way. By using some of the techniques and approaches outlined below, we reckon you’ll find yourselves more motivated, less frustrated, and generally taking a bit more joy in your work. Sounds good? Then dive right in!
Assess Your App As a User
Out of all the advice we have to offer here today, this first point is probably going to be the most significant. As an app developer, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be intended user or customer of the app itself. As such, there’s no real reason for you to fixate your attentions on the tiny details, which the average user would completely overlook when actually making use of the app.
Once your app is completed and ready to hand over to the client, make sure you’re examining your handiwork from the perspective of their customers or intended users. Does it do the job it is supposed to? Is it free from any issues which will hamper their use of the app? So long as they will be happy, your client will also be happy. Naturally, then, if your client is happy with the results, it’s probably sensible for you also to feel the same.
Get Your Non-Coder Friends Involved
Group feedback is always the best weathervane with which to measure your success. If you’re having a few doubts about your product, gather your mates together, and get them to explore the app and give their honest, unadulterated feedback on what you’ve created. Take their constructive criticism and praise, and respond accordingly.
If they can’t find much wrong with your app, there’s no reason why you should go searching for small errors or inconsistencies – after all, if your close friends think it’s ok, then it’s highly likely that the general public will feel the same way.
If possible, avoid getting other coders or app designers to examine your work; as we mentioned before, we’re a community which loves to obsess over small details, and the likelihood is they’ll lead you to be even less satisfied than you were before!
Invite Professional Testers
There are plenty of professional app testers out there who will be only too happy to give your app the once-over, and let you know from their point of view what needs to be improved, and (just as importantly) which parts you got absolutely right. Their expert eye will approach your app from the point of view of its intended user, and the feedback they’ll give is most likely to be constructive rather than intended to take you down a peg or two.
If they find some things wrong with your app, don’t be disheartened. After all, seeking out errors which the customer may find is their job, and this is exactly why you called upon them for their help in the first place. Listen carefully to what they have to say, make the adjustments they recommend, and be grateful for the fact that you’ve made an extra step towards delivering something which really hits the mark.
Use Reddit for Feedback
Reddit is the ultimate online hive-mind, and the forums you’ll find on this far-reaching site will offer all the guidance and feedback you could possible ask for.
Reddit users love to have their opinion heard, and they’ll take great pleasure in testing any new app which is about to be released on the market, and letting you know exactly what they think about it. The great thing about Reddit is that on this site, you’ll find people from all backgrounds and walks of life – perfect for getting a wide sample of testers for your product.
Listen to Real Feedback, Not Your Interior Critic!
App developers can be their own worst enemies at times. It’s vitally important that the opinions you listen to are coming from real people who genuinely want to help you and improve your product… and not from the dark recesses of your own mind!
Put your app out there, invite feedback, and pay attention to the comments which come up. Trust us, we know how it is to be a perfectionist, and while this state of mind can have clear advantages, it’s always better to get second, third, and fourth opinions on our projects, otherwise we’d probably never get anything finished and signed off at all!