Just the other day, in private conversation with a few Mac developers, I called FeedDemon an honorary Mac application. I didn’t have to spell it out, they knew what I meant: that it’s not just usable and aesthetically pleasing, it’s fun to use.
I have a little experience with Windows, even with Windows development — but that was a few years ago. I have a new Dell laptop, and my total time in front of Windows XP so far is just a few hours. A big part of that, I hate to say, was configuring the wireless networking. (Is it actually difficult, or was it just my being unfamiliar with Windows?)
Here’s the thing about Windows: the successful apps are, almost by definition, doing lots of things very well. On Windows I haven’t seen as much of the raw glamour that some Mac apps exude, but then my recent experience is limited — and glamour can get in the way, can be as much a barrier to usability as a good thing.
What FeedDemon showed me is that what I personally look for — apps that delight users — exist on Windows.
But Windows is still largely unknown territory for me. I’m sure there is more to learn from FeedDemon, other Windows apps, from Windows users, and especially from people who use Windows and Macs regularly. So, some questions:
If you’re a FeedDemon user, what features should be added to NetNewsWire?
Are there aspects of Windows UI design that should be applied to Mac apps?
What are the best things about Windows apps that Mac apps lack? And what are the worst things, things that Mac apps should avoid?
What are the cool things about the Windows user community?
PS: Here’s Nick’s guest post in my blog.