Freesteel Blog » The web thing

The web thing

Thursday, March 16th, 2006 at 6:10 pm Written by:

Martin has been working hard with the appalling javascript language to make a nice toolsheet that hopefully illustrates all the parameters in a dynamic diagram, so you don’t have to waste time understanding them from a manual. This functionality is ahead of most CAM systems.

Why is the user interface so important?

Firstly, nobody really understands what the Adaptive Clearing machining algorithm does. So illustrating the numbers on a diagram that shows how the tool flank is supposed to be cutting to a specific depth, ought to get the idea across.

Secondly, the webpage is free which means you can easily walk away from it before you discover what it does and go and watch an on-line movie, or order a pizza as soon as you get irritated. It’s a paradox that free stuff actually has to be more approachable than software that you pay for.

If you pay for something you are liable to give it your full attention for long enough to work it all out, because otherwise all that money would have been wasted. And the money that you pay out gets reinvested into advertising, salesmanship, and brand awareness of the kind that entices more people like you to buy it in the first place. It’s a feedback loop that makes it possible for a large company to effectively stand still in terms of software development.

Software, it seems, is difficult to sell on its own merit. Shareware didn’t really work, except for small applications like pkzip that everybody had to have or they could read the attachment that was sent to them on their floppy disk. There’s one aspect above all others that determines sale and use of software, that trumps all else. And that thing is familiarity.

Uh-oh.

4 Comments

  • 1. Nick Carter replies at 18th March 2006, 5:44 am :

    I would say that McNeel (who makes Rhino) is doing the whole thing right: excellent product, excellent support, constant development, good demo version, reasonable price (for the field) and very little advertising, I suspect that most of their sales are through word of mouth (or internet)…

    But your comments about free software demanding less attention are correct…people assume if it’s free it must not be worth anything…

    Let me predict though, once it works semi-perfectly and word gets around the various forums you will need to invest in more server space…

  • 2. frank fernandis replies at 27th January 2007, 4:22 am :

    It’s become an important tool in my arsenal and aid to my quest to be a self-sufficient webmaster.

  • 3. leo replies at 22nd February 2007, 6:29 am :

    I dont know but why i don find such informative and profitable blogs so often,I suspect blogging world is becoming so small that we cant find such lucrative blogs like this one.

  • 4. Alisya replies at 3rd March 2007, 11:06 am :

    I suspect that’s thereason general public want to read blog….Internet visitors generally create blogs to declare themselves or their secret views. Blog grant them same matter on the monitor screen what they specifically needed,so as the above stuffs declared it.

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