I've started using a new blog writing app recently. It's called MarsEdit and it's very good.
I always get a buzz when I start using a new app. When the UX is well thought out in an app it makes using it not only painless but actually enjoyable.
I am currently using the 30 day free trial, and it eventually costs £27.99. In my mind that is not cheap for what it is. In fact, I'd be so bold as to say the product itself isn't worth that money.
(The notion of value for apps is a really interesting subject I think. With the proliferation of freeware, freemium, shareware and paid apps the whole market has been blown open. It's a far cry from when I owned my Amiga and all games were roughly the same price.)
Here are a couple of examples of improvements I would make to the product:
- I'd improve the use of colour -
That's the list of blog topics in the main window, but you can't tell which have been posted and which are drafts.
What If... There was a simple colour coded system that showed me quickly which had been published and which were drafts on the server so I could negotiate them quicker and remind me of drafts I had yet to write.
- I'd use dynamic naming -
When you're writing a post you can either save it locally as a draft ('Save as Draft') or you can save it remotely on your blog's server. As I use more than one mac I like to keep things in the cloud so I can access them across multiple machines. However, when you want to save as a draft remotely the 'Send to Blog' button remains the same. I have to check more than once that I am saving a draft and not actually publishing a post when it's half written. Plus, when you save your draft by clicking 'Send to Blog' it automatically closes the post.
What If... When I ticked the 'Draft' button (not pictured) the 'Send to Blog' button changed to 'Save to Server' - then I'd know I wasn't publishing it instantly, and it'd know I don't necessarily want the post closed - I may just be saving the latest changes.
So those are just two small improvements I'd make to the app, and due to those factors I don't think it's worth £27.99. And, I can probably get it online somewhere for free if I wanted to do a little searching to get around the charge and continue using the app.
But I think MarsEdit is worth every penny and I'm going to pay it.
And this is why.
When I started using the app I thought I would send the developers some feedback via Twitter:
And they responded quickly. (Read the following from the bottom up).
They answered my question quickly and they took the constructive feedback in a positive way. And their tone of voice is one of a company that is constantly improving, of wanting to improve their product.
The way companies operate, and their product/ service being at the heart of their proposition is something Katy and I were discussing a while back on Twitter:
We were discussing how lots of brands say they are something with large communications positionings, yet their core proposition - what they actually are as a product or service - is very different. Katy's very interested in this, and I am too.
And it's this business mantra, why a business does what it does, that is interesting. Because, as I said up there, great communications are nice but if they're so different from the reality of the product or service, people will be let down. (I discussed this when I recently traveled on a Virgin Holiday here.)
And, this is why I'm going to pay the £27.99 for MarsEdit. I'm going to pay it because whilst I feel their product may not be worth the price, their service is. Their service is adding enough value to warrant the cost.
They don't have huge budgets to put an ad on TV to convince me the product is worth the money. They aren't sponsoring a global sporting event to shove their logo under my nose at every opportunity. They aren't bombarding me with numerous emails talking about what turns them on that week. Because all of that is meaningless if the product/ service lets me down.
No, they aren't manufacturing any stories to provide a spurious strategy to engage with me. They're simply being good, being valuable and adding value through their service, and not through communications.
Their service is their communications.
It's a very simple thought, but one we should all revisit every time we work on a new campaign. A little question for all of us during every project:
"Is this campaign highlighting a great product/ service, or is it trying to create desire for an average product/ service?"