Ben Brooks on "It Just Works"

Nice analysis on what it means for a product to "just work" for consumers:

For me ‘just works’ comes down to three factors:

  1. Understanding how customers use your product. This is likely helped by the ‘support emails’ Marco mentioned.

  2. Using your own product often.

  3. 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.