Evil Brain Jono's Natural Log:

It's not like we weren't warned. Lots of people in the community tried to tell us that this was a bad idea. But somehow, despite being an ostensibly community-driven organization, somewhere along the line we learned to tune out naysayers from the community.
I've been thinking a lot about the fundamental disconnect between the developers and the users. I think it comes down to: Software developers have a perverse habit of thinking of updates/new releases as a good thing.
Only after I heard from dozens of different users that the rapid release process had ruined Firefox did I finally get it through my thick skull: releasing an update is practically an act of aggression against your users...

So many companies release updates which radically change the interface for no significant gain -- they seem to be moving sideways rather than forward, changing things around for the sake of change.... I've come to the extremely humbling realization athat the single best thing most companies could do to improve usability is to stop changing the UI so often! Let it remain stable long enough for us to learn it and get good at it. There's no UI better than one you already know, and no UI worse than one you thought you knew but now have to relearn.

Bold emphasis mine.

For Firefox extension developers (and I've done a little), the real take-home is here: "Worse yet, we didn't do enough to preserve add-on compatibility, making the updates extremely disruptive to people who depended on certain add-ons; and we kept going with our old version-numbering scheme even though the meaning of the numbers had changed completely, leading to mass confusion."

Okay, also useful (this is becoming a "quotes to self" post): "Your users are temporarily tolerating your software because it's the least horrible option they have -- for now -- to meet some need."

The post is more than worth reading for anyone working with software development.

(discovered via link shared in the Real Software blog)

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