Oh, the agony
Jen Goertzen
21

I’m a huge fan of https://www.jetbrains.com/’s software for “getting this right”, especially in a massively complicated piece of software. There are little moments of surprise that I have using their products (my joyous praise of which illicit strange looks from my coworkers) when some very tiny interaction that I’m suspicious will operate the way I expect (or at all) indeed works out.

Drag and drop, context menus, and copying to the clipboard are the instances where I’ve really seen this shine, despite it being difficult to give a user hint what (again, if anything) the request will do until it’s too late.

Drag an image into a text document? Of course it pastes the URL or file path of the image, thats what I wanted and what it new I wanted based on context.

Right click on a file in the file browser? Of course it gives me the open of locating it in Finder.

Copy a source code file onto the clipboard? Of course it gives me the reference to that Class to share with developers.

I can only attribute this to really really good product and backlog management. I’d be surprised if every employee doesn’t have access to the often over-guarded backlog of tasks, and isn’t encouraged to add to that backlog whenever they find something that doesn’t quite work the way they wanted it to. Often the “cost” to change these things is trivial, but pile enough of them up and you’ve got something that can improve even the grumpiest-Count’s day.

This requires serious work to merge, prune, and prioritize the backlog, but I think it’s the only way to ensure these tiny moments of joy… and what a state we’re still in where I describe expected and consistent functionality as a moment of joy.

Hate to end on a negative note, but I contrast this with a piece of software everyone seems to love, Slack, which I feel constantly fails at doing what I intend to do. Dragging and dropping of content, or copying and pasting of image files seems, or what happens when I click a username seems inconsistent and very error prone.

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