A lesson from my past.

The first version of Visual LANSA arrived on my desk in the late 90s.

It had a Layout Manager feature to make parts of the UI resize automatically when the window size changed.

Cool stuff at the time.

We’d call it responsive design these days and it’s now the norm, but not so long ago, it was still a black art, and the features in Visual LANSA were very complicated.

Some years ago when I was heading up the project, we reinvented Layout Managers to make them far more intuitive.

We embedded them in the designer, making them more easily accessible using buttons on the ribbon.

We superseded the 5 different types with 1.

Surely an improvement that everyone would enjoy, right?

But users were confused at first.

They didn’t understand our vision.

We were intimately familiar with the subtlety and nuance, but many of our customers were not.

We wrote lots of help on how to use the new one, but nothing about the problem we were solving and why you’d use them.

Our years of experience had blinded us to the needs of the customer.

We’d given them a tool and hoped they’d work out how it was useful.

This is the creator’s curse.

Like it or not, our familiarity breeds contempt.

It’s worth bearing in mind as you roll out feature after feature.


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