One critical factor many new start-ups forget is that half of creating a successful web app is making sure that its well designed and easy to use. In this part of our series we’ll continue looking at well designed web applications….
37Signals are like the MVPs of web developers. Not only did the lead developers here invent the Rails framework for Ruby, but they built a highly successful company out of it that even Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com loves! So what gets their product recognition?
Branding Similar Products
The one thing that 37Signals seem to understand more than anything else is that ‘branding’ a family of products makes them all that much more valuable in the long run. Take a look at the images below:
Although 37Signals have released several strong, unique products that stand alone, they all work together (look similar) and function similarly. Familiarity breeds loyal customers so when it’s time to turn your new app into a sister product, remember not to stray too far from where you found success the first time!
Incorporate the Explanation
Another thing you’ll notice is that all 37signal products incorporate the instructions right into the design of the site. Why ever consult a manual or customer service if your every question is answered before you ask it? This won’t work for every app but I think 37signals have pulled it off well in their product line.
Give the End User Freedom
Customers want to feel like they own the software and not the other way around. One way to do this is to make your application customizable or offer an API that allows users to incorporate your app into their site’s design theme. This versatility is key. Ass you’ll notice above, 37signlas recently began allowing for more customization of color and brand identity than they used to.