The secret to great software

Most people when they think of great software they think of one or two things: software that makes a lot of money or software that’s technically difficult.

While both of those two properties describe many successful software products, it doesn’t make them great.

What makes software great is consistently.

Good software is consistent with the platform it’s running on. Don’t bring Android-isms to iOS and vice-versa.

Good software is consistent in form. Use the same paddings, margins, and colors. Nobody likes staring at an Easter egg all day.

Good software is consistent in it’s function. Define a pattern for how your tool works and stick to it. This is the most difficult because you often find an edge case later on that requires a small inconsistency with the rest of the system and updating everything to the match new standard takes time and money.

The quest for consistency feels neverending, but it’s the difference between junk and great software.