“You cannot build an application that doesn’t influence people, so, who are you?”

Menno Cramer, OutSystems UX Expert

I like to study people. To understand them, to read their faces, to follow everything they do, think or feel. As a kid, I’d always spot whether someone was sad or angry. I didn’t really care for the fact they were feeling bad; I just wanted to know why they were feeling what they were feeling. This is what led me to study neuroscience. I wanted to understand the meaning behind the sweat trickling down someone’s skin, the pupil dilation, the nodding, the smiling. Everyone has their own quirks; I guess you can say this is mine.

So, my background isn’t the most conventional for a software company — simply put, I don’t know how to code. Instead, I understand the human brain. When I interview users, I pay attention to the little changes, a hesitation or a twitch. If they frown with an “intensity” of 46%, rather than the 71% I expect, I know they actually liked it better than they’re willing to admit. And by recognizing things on the their faces, their expressions and their mannerisms, I can understand how to change my designs to create the response I’m expecting them to have. I’ve heard I’m like “The Mentalist”; you might not want to play poker with me.

Gaining a client’s trust is the biggest challenge my team and I face. Especially if we’re talking about big companies. It can be hard for them to accept that an outsider can deliver a better system than the one they have or think they need. The trick is to show them. We prototype new screens, explain the flow and change whatever doesn’t work out. Then our team has the tools to quickly build the app, take it live, the clients try it, and see the immediate results. The speed at which we work and can develop is essential here. We have a way of really understanding people. Giving someone what they really need is so much more than giving them what they say they want.

This is a tribute to all developers out there that everyday sit behind a keyboard to deliver those incredible apps we can’t live without. Help us supporting this initiative. Share this story now on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.