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At the Structure Data Conference this morning, Kleiner Perkins partner Michael Abbott encouraged people to think about apps from the perspective of engineers and designers. What strikes me about his comment is how nothing has changed from the early days in technology, where everyone agreed the end user experience needs to be managed alongside the hardcore technology parts.
Even so, technologists designed in a vacuum and an awful end user experience resulted (along with user cynicism and resistance).
The more things change
This points out how the more things change, the more they stay the same. The app world is no different than the application world from a development standpoint, albeit typically with a smaller use case but a much broader reach. Building apps without user experience input will lead to clunky interfaces and designing apps without strong knowledge of the backend systems that need to be touched will result in poor functionality.
What really matters
The best apps do things that took multiple sources of information and bring them together in a simple press and swipe interface, meaning that the real secret to building apps, beyond coding and design, is integration at the back end. Integration is what makes the pieces come together and the magic really happen.
So I’m glad that Kleiner Perkins sees what we’ve known for years, but I’d really like to hear people talking more about the need to integrate silos of information and creating apps that give us one place to pull together many needs.