Friday, May 05, 2006

7 Reasons Why Web Apps Fail

Good thoughts on what will make or break a web app...

"I’m not one to believe that we’re in a Bubble 2.0 or anything like that (aren’t we always bubbular?), but here are a few ideas about why some of the web apps out there fail.

Focus on social instead of personal.
Following up on my Del.icio.us Lesson post, this is a critical reason why web apps fail. Many apps focus on being the new social killer-app when, in general, people don’t have time to worry about what other people are doing, and will only use software that benefits them personally at every step. You could call this selfishness or laziness, but I would call it optimization. For example, we simply don’t have time to tag things for tagging sake. Instead, we might tag things if we think that it will help us in the future, but adding tags to an app does not a solution make.

They solve too many problems, or try to.
This is when the buzzwords rear their ugly head. If you’ve got a list of problems you’re solving with an application, it stands to reason that you can’t solve any one of them fully. Instead of trying to solve more than one, focus like gangbusters on one problem and really nail it. If you think about the successful web apps out there right now that have garnered impressive mindshare, it should be easy to line up the one problem (or activity) they really get right. Flickr: photos. Del.icio.us: bookmarks. Facebook: college. Myspace: identity. Gmail: email. Plaxo: contacts. Tailrank: news. Etc…"   continued ...   (Via Bokardo)

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