Balancing functionality and usability

Author
Bryan Caporicci, Professional wedding photographer and CEO/Founder of Sprout Studio About Bryan

Do you spend more time behind your computer than you'd like?

You'd like to spend less time behind your computer and more time behind your camera, right?

Have you ever actually calculated how much time you spend behind your computer as a photographer? It's probably double what you actually think it is, and I'd bet it's 10x's what you thought it would be when you first got started in photography.

You'd rather use software that is simple, intuitive and easy to understand. You'd like to use software that lets you get in, do your thing, and then get out. You'd like a software that is designed to let you use it less. All this so you can get back to being behind your camera instead of being behind your computer.

Well … that's exactly what we've built Sprout Studio to be. It's designed to help you get back to doing what you love – photography.

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The balance of functionality and usability

With any software, there are always two opposing forces – functionality and usability.

In software terms, functionality is defined as the range of operations that can be run and usability is defined as how easy an interface is to use.

When functionality overpowers usability

Some software has great functionality, but the usability isn't all-that-great. This kind of software could be described as complicated. A great example of this would be Photoshop, and I think you'd agree with the word “complicated” to describe how you felt when you first opened up Photoshop.

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When usability overpowers functionality

Some software has great usability, but to achieve this, they've stripped away functionality. This kind of software could be described as basic. A great example of this would be iPhoto. Think about it's use-case for you as a professional photographer; it probably wouldn't let you do what you need to do, right?

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Here's the bigger problem at play. Whether a software is too heavy on either the functionality side, or too heavy on the usability side, it's more difficult to scale. In the first case, as more functionality is added, it becomes even more complicated. In the second case, as usability is refined, it becomes even more basic.

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But … what happens when a software strikes the perfect balance between functionality and usability? There is a sweet-spot where a software is powerful yet still intuitive.

What's more is that because a balance has been struck, it's easy to scale and build on it.

Because the focus is on this balance, when one is improved, there is a constant check-and-balance to make sure the other is as equally improved. This allows for never-ending improvement and great scaleability without sacrificing functionality or usability.

Sprout Studio – the balance of Functionality and Usability

If it wasn't obvious … we're that third company. We are obsessive about the balance of functionality and usability, and it's always been our driving force. We want to give you great power, but we want it to be simple to use and extremely intuitive.

Here's an example of how we're doing this – the package builder.

We've gone back to the drawing board on how the package builder should work and how it should look. We wanted it to be simple, intuitive and easy to understand, yet at the same time, give you all the flexibility you need in building a package.

Here's a quick fun animated GIF showing what it looks like:

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I hope that you're as excited as we are about Sprout Studio! This post is another one in our Sprout Studio series. You can find all other posts in this series below.

#Sprout Studio #Studio Management

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