Good code and great design, takes time

Working in today’s fast-paced world with the ability to communicate with clients all over the world and deliver projects at a touch of a button; it seems anything is possible. Time is a valuable resource and there never seems to be enough of it in a day to get everything done.

Here at Joomlatools we pride ourselves on three things : great design, superb customer support and products based upon solid code. But how can you stick to these three principles when you are working towards a major new release? On one hand customers need new features, yesterday. On the other hand we need time to deliver robust stable products.

Good design takes time

We believe passionately in good design! Good design should mean that our Joomla extensions feel intuitive, simple, easy to use and inspire continual use. Code, just like design takes time and when done correctly seems so simple that you can’t believe the solution didn’t exist before.

Did you know Apple’s 10 to 3 to 1 design concept? Like Apple, we keep refining and improving until both the code and the user experience is clean, simple and easy to understand. This takes time and many concepts might never see the light of day. This isn’t wasted time however, it means we are able to deliver the best possible User Experience (UX).

Stable code means less bugs

Eliminating bugs through constant improvement and refinement also takes time. A good solid release strategy ensures our products work how they should on a variety of different platforms. It would be easy if all of our customers operated on the same platform, the same version of Joomla and have the same components installed.

Providing front end editing for DOCman is one such example of how early Release Candidates helped us to provide a much better solution for all.

UX interfaces are as good as the code it runs on, so exhaustive user testing means when our products are stable, they will run as you expect them to.

Solid architecture comes first

We believe in the ‘law of vital few‘, also know as the 80/20 rule when it comes to software design, by providing a solid implementation for 80% of our customer’s requirements, and paving the way to easily implement the other 20% of all use cases by providing a solid, extendable architecture.

This mean we spend less time producing functionality that will never be used, and more time supporting clients to understand how they could extend our products. All our extensions use our Nooku Framework as their base providing a rock solid architecture, which developers can extend and modify to suit their individual needs.

We not only build on a solid architecture, we also provide developer documentation to help developers extend or create custom plugins for our extensions. Additionally, for our Business and Agency subscribers we have dedicated “developer support” forums where they can get in touch directly with our team.

Support driven development

Support Driven Development (SDD) is a term first coined by Wufoo co-founder, Kevin Hale at User Conference 2012:

“Injecting humility, accountability and responsibility into the development process by making sure the creators are also the supporters. If I’m going to build this, how does it affect me later when I have to support the user?” – Kevin Hale

SDD states that whatever your position in the organisation is, you should provide customer service support. It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO, CFO, sales person or a developer; you should take part in the support process. If our developers better understand our customers’ problems through first hand experience they are better able to design software.

At Joomlatools everyone in the team continuously invest a big portion of his time talking to customers. We realise that to build great Joomla extensions we need to learn about the problems you – our customers – are trying to solve.

Our support system is not ‘just’ a ticket queue, it is ‘the’ main communication channel with our customers. We spend a lot of our time improving it: in the past 2 years we have worked tirelessly to improve the support system and 2015 will be no different.

Spending time helping you to find answers quickly saves you time but also means we can provide more personalised and individual support to each of our customers and get a better understanding of their exact needs.

Time versus quality

So in conclusion, should you consider the quantity and pace new features are added or quality and support offered as the most important aspect when evaluating a Joomla extension? At Joomlatools we take quality and support over features any time. Our extensions are here to prove that!