“Good design” isn’t really a phrase that jumps out to describe the traditional developer tools that were designed 15-20 years ago. Pure function was the name of the game. These tools had very specific tasks they were trying to solve and were designed to do that in the easiest, most efficient way possible.
Efficiency should absolutely still be a major factor in design for developer tools, but developers appreciate good design, whether they can actually articulate what that means. Developers are intuitive and can quickly tell whether a tool looks and feels good for their workflow, and is also efficient. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
Designing for the Developer Audience
When you’re developing software that is going to be delivered to millions of developers around the world, you want to take care to ensure you’re doing things the right way; you have a responsibility to build the tools well.
For better or for worse, developers are incredibly honest and straightforward. They’re not going to sugarcoat how they feel about your product. With all that being said, all of the feedback is extremely constructive. Any feedback is good feedback.
The GitKraken team pays close attention to user feedback every day across multiple channels including social media, Slack, emails to the support team, the public feedback form, and more.
How do you measure the efficacy of design? If your design is problem-focused, meaning you know exactly which problem you’re solving for, you can measure the effectiveness of the design based on how users interact with your product by using empirical and statistical evidence.
In this context, empirical evidence is defined by verified evidence you receive firsthand through observation–you’ve observed people either in a study or interview–actually interacting with your product where you’re able to study their behaviors. You can monitor their emotional reactions to things, hear audible reactions about your product; this can be extremely effective pre-release.
Statistical evidence comes from analyzing large quantities of numerical data. Maybe you’ve just released a new version of your product to a very large audience; you can measure how many people are able to find a new feature by clicking a specific area on-page or in-app; whether they’re using the toolings effectively; how much time are they spending using a feature; and other statistical data that tell you whether your product is being used in the way you’ve designed it.
Should you conduct all of this design research before or after you take a shot at building your product? It really depends on the project’s budget. User studies can be extremely expensive and time-consuming, so don’t let a lack of data stop you.
UI UX Design is the Difference in GitKraken Tools
The team at GitKraken is proud to always consider UX UI design principles for software development in our suite of legendary Git tools.
The GitKraken graph provides users with enhanced visibility into their project history, and can be accessed in both GitKraken Client and GitLens for VS Code, and features like Workspaces for teams help organize relevant tasks in one dashboard to streamline workflow management.