Learning From Others

by Brett Neely : 17 Nov 2014

Launching a software product is both exciting and intimidating. Finally, our work is ready for public consumption! We successfully navigated the App Store approval process, and the time came to push the button and release the app. Hopefully, customers love it and no emergency fixes are required.

Our new iOS app, Colo, displays contacts and utilizes their street address locations for sorting and filtering. We tried to think of everything, implement every critical feature, fix every critical defect, and put every pixel in its place. The testers seemed happy. New feedback fell into the "nice to have" category. The app is ready! Now, we can begin interacting with customers and ensure they're satisfied.

During development, we had an issue with an untested feature. A tester in Europe reported that distances were shown in feet and miles instead of meters and kilometers. The app detects the user's location to select the appropriate measurement system, but I made a mistake in the code. Fortunately, the tester's feedback enabled me to identify and fix the problem prior to release. And we can ensure the bug never comes back.

Using the correct measurement system is just one aspect of localization. Colo still needs to provide languages other than English, and other changes may be needed. Supporting right-to-left text might require user interface updates. Colo 1.0 is built with my small company's limited understanding of geographic locations outside of North America, and customer feedback will help us acquire more knowledge to put back into the product.

If you are a Colo user, we wish to hear from you! Please send us your honest feedback to help us understand how you use our software and what would improve it. How does our app help you? What would make the experience more intuitive? How do you expect it to behave in your location? Is there something we should add or remove?

Your feedback will help us immensely. We are committed to responding to all comments and help requests, and we look forward to see how our user community will help us shape Colo.

Thanks to Don Melton and Tyler Constance for feedback on this article.