It seems to me that people see software as simply a set of instructions to provide a result in a digital machine. This is true, but it’s not the entire picture. Software is also something that we interact with, every piece has it’s own soul. As developers of software we have to be cognizant of what kind of voice we are putting into our own code.
You almost have to consider the app as if you would consider a person for a job. Does it need to have a business tone, or maybe a fun tone. Does it need a pretty face, or does it need a face at all. But on top of all of this: you have to consider the creator of your application.
As a programmer, you’re given a set of instructions. How you carry out those instructions is dependent on many factors. Such as your skill-set, desire to work on the project, and your own personality.
This brings me to my point: I believe that choosing the right programmers for a project by their personality is almost as important as their skill-set. The voice, look and feel, it can all be prototyped by a designer and conceptualized by a lead/director/architect sure. But the guys actually writing the code are the ones bringing your app to life. There is only so much time that you can send back changes to “get it right”, and let’s face it: it’s never going to be just right if you don’t write it yourself.
Moral of the story? Don’t assume software is just someone you can pay to sit in a chair and type. These guys are responsible for the code AND the heart/soul of your app. Find dynamic and interesting folks that care about what you’re trying to accomplish, otherwise you’re going to end up with an app that leaves you feeling like you brought home the wrong baby from the hospital.
If you’re interest more in this stuff check out Aaron Walter, one of the guys working on MailChimp, http://aarronwalter.com/blog/ http://twitter.com/aarron, he’s got a lot to say about emotional software.