How to Improve Software Quality and Usability

Any good developer or designer knows the importance of pursuing without rest how to improve software quality yet further than the current status quo. This drive to improve quality in technology is what powers innovation, diversification and of course overall advancement of technology and culture in this very digital world we now find ourselves living in.

But, all too often, people associate improvements in software quality with a very brute force “add features and make it prettier” strategy. This was endemic with the software world for decades, and still is a common go-to “answer” for this quandary. But, most of the time, it’s not the right answer, or at least not the entirety of it.

There are a whole host of factors in software that bear weight on the summary quality of any given design and architecture, and aesthetics and feature lists are seldom the highest in importance. Many companies don’t realize this, and since new development studios and teams model their behavior after the big role model companies, this kind of archaic mindset is being proliferated from generation to generation. It’s time to nip that in the bud right here and look at other factors to address.

When Addressing Features

Well, features are an issue, but not in their quantity as many might think. Often, the best thing to address with features is to find out which ones nobody uses, and eliminate them to reduce code complexity, software scale and to improve efficiency.

Along with this, it’s also important to keep tabs on extended processes users are coming up with on their own, and convert these lengthy “unsupported” processes into simple, supported steps with interface designs to reflect this. These are the feature aspects to consider when improving software quality. Not the quantity of features being tacked on.

Improving Efficiency

Improving efficiency of a process, especially when it comes to SaaS, is a big consideration. The less hopping needed to get something done, the less waiting to send and receive from a server for baseline calculations, and the less slowdown due to lack of caching, the better.

The user may not even notice, right away, these improvements, but they will see the cumulative result of this as their workload takes longer to do as a result of better responsiveness and a browser that lags significantly less.

Targeting Devices

One of the things that is a big seller for SaaS is its natural platform independence, as a result of being browser based. Still, this doesn’t mean that quality can’t be enhanced by making allowances for different devices to use the design more smoothly. This is especially true for mobile users who have to content with limited screen real estate and slightly odd input methodologies more often than not.

Customization

Finally, allowing the maximum amount of customization within a profile in SaaS is a good idea. Most good SaaS designers bear this in mind, and with the atomic nature of web based applications, this is easier to make a reality than with traditional software anyhow. Still, for those who overlook this, allowing users to move things around a bit to suit their preferences is a major boost in software quality.

As you can see, when striving to learn how to improve software quality, it’s not about the number of features you add, the uniqueness of a new release, or how pretty it is. It’s all about consolidating what works, and catering to your customers properly!

Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
Omri Erel on sabtwitterOmri Erel on sablinkedinOmri Erel on sabgoogleOmri Erel on sabfacebook