Join Patrick Rauland for an in-depth discussion in this video There are no perfect platforms, part of Choosing an Ecommerce Platform for Developers.
- [Instructor] A few years ago, a friend really wanted to get a new bike. She'd just moved downtown, and wanted to get to and from work on her bike, instead of a car. So, she asked her friend, who was a bike expert. This expert, he drove a pedicab around the city. He owned multiple bikes, and used them to go everywhere, and he didn't even need a car. And he volunteered in a bicycle repair shop. By all accounts, this person is a bike expert. But when I saw the bike that my friend came home with, I was surprised. The handlebars were low, so she had to lean over, the bike used click-in heels, which she didn't have, and didn't know how to use, and the bike used a tube shifter, a more sensitive system than regular gears that bikes use.
And I realized that her friend, who was a bike expert, was helping her find the perfect bike for him. He's the type of person who wants low handlebars, so he can maximize wind resistance, uses click-in heels to get extra power, and he can use the tube shifter to maximize effort. But unfortunately, he didn't listen to my friend, or he didn't care. And this is something that we as developers need to avoid. My friend was able to return the bike the next day, and get the bike she really wanted. She wanted something that was easy to use, something that looked pretty, and she hates wearing a backpack while riding a bike, so she really wanted a basket.
This experience taught me a few things. There's no such thing as the perfect platform. You always have to listen to your user's needs, to find the right platform for them. Some users don't know how to ask for what they want. You need to ask them the right questions, so you can deliver the best solution. And some solution providers don't care how the end user will use the product. My dad is actually a really good example of this. He will always recommend an Apple computer. It doesn't matter what your needs are, or what your budget is, he will always recommend an Apple. While I appreciate how much he likes that brand, for some people, under some circumstances, it's not the right choice.
As a developer, you don't want to be that person who shoehorns every single person into one solution. If you ignore your user's needs, even if they're unspoken needs, you'll likely run into problems when the client can't use the solution. My friend couldn't use the pedals on her new bike, because her bike expert didn't ask if she had, or if she would want to use, click-in heels. You don't want to deliver a test website, and then have the client say it's unusable, or drag their feet, or never finish the project, and therefore, never finish paying you, because it's not the right solution for them. It's a skill, to listen to your users, and to ask the right questions.
That's what we're going to start working on in this course.
- Understanding the costs of each platform
- Hosted vs. self-hosted
- Comprehensive vs. distinct services
- Customizable vs. easy to configure
- Payments and security