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Someone on the Other End
Every time I’m in the gym I use the same app on my phone: KeyLifts. For 3 years now, four to five times a week, the same app. I love it. I pay for the yearly subscription and the app is a huge if not the only reason why I’ve been running the same workout program (5/3/1) for years now. Whenever someone asks me about working out, I tell them about this app.
Yet I can’t point at a single feature that makes me love it so much. It has some great features, sure, but most of them you can find in other workout apps too. There’s even bugs here and there.
The reason why I love it then? Because every time I use it, it feels like there’s someone on the other end. I use it and think: this was built by a single person who cares. And that person also works out and uses this app, probably used it yesterday. A thousand tiny features for power users, small details tweaked multiple times, a changelog that reads like text messages from a workout buddy. It’s not clean and consistent, but charming. I don’t know how to express it any other way but to say: I don’t feel alone when using the app; I feel like I’m sitting in someone’s living room.
That’s rare, isn’t it? There’s a lot of software that doesn’t even feel like it was created by people. macOS, Windows, the Amazon app on my phone – the feeling: yep, this was created by a large corporation alright.
So here’s a thought: how can I make the software I write feel like it was written by someone who cares?
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