Nice analysis on what it means for a product to "just work" for consumers:
For me ‘just works’ comes down to three factors:
- Understanding how customers use your product. This is likely helped by the ‘support emails’ Marco mentioned.
- Using your own product often.
- Not adding stuff, for adding stuff’s sake. (Feature bloat.)
Personally I agree most with #2, although they're all great points. Some of the best applications I've ever used have been developed by people who aren't just out to make a quick buck; they had a need for a particular tool or service, and (perhaps for lack of better alternatives) decided to come up with their own instead. Marco Arment's Instapaper app seems to be a great example of this, although I can't speak for him personally.