7 Minute Software

Jeff Sandquist is talking again about his 7 day software test.  Basically,  he’ll try something for 7 days, and If he finds it to be useful, he’ll buy it.   He’s even incorporated the idea into one of his videoblogging projects, On10.net.

I generally have a much shorter fuse, and I judge software within the first few minutes after installation.  Actually, even the installation experience can significantly color my perceptions.  When it comes to software, I’m guilty of judging the book by its cover.  The install experience and the UI are about all that factors into my “is this good enough” test.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I haven’t given certain applications as much of a chance as I should have.  I’m not sure if I’m patient enough to give new software 7 days, but I’m going to try to get past  my initial gut-reactions and see if maybe there’s some tools out there that can make my life better or more productive.

Still, I wonder how many people really have the time and patience to commit to a 7-day trial with new software.  Software developers should take note.  If your UI can’t grab the user’s attention, if they can’t intuitively figure out  how to get started without reading the help file, or if your install experience is painful, most people are not going to give your program a chance, no matter how wonderful it might be.