360 MacDev Keynote: Mike Lee's "Dirty Jokes and Code"
360|MacDev is underway in Denver, Colorado, and it's starting with a bang. While many developer conferences begin with a boring, bland, and somewhat cookie-cutter keynote, this morning's keynote was a NSFW -- but definitely memorable -- talk laced with dirty jokes by Mike Lee (at right).
Mike has done a lot of coding on some of the more popular software for Mac and iOS, including Delicious Library and Tap Tap Revenge, and is famous for his insightful talks on software design.
The talk, entitled "Dirty Jokes and Code," was more than just the jokes, though. Through applicable off-color jokes, Lee essentially taught the attendees a lot of the important facets of how to produce apps that are incredibly useful and usable for buyers. Whether it was a rant against overuse of splash screens, a warning about errors in localizing software, or how one little issue can cause a user to go ballistic, Lee got his point across to the attendees.
For example, Lee noted that the total user experience is only as good as the worst experience that the user has, so it's important to make the initial setup of the application as easy as possible to make sure that users don't just toss the app after struggling through setup.
Lee warned developers to not be too clever, pointing out the common iOS shake to undo gesture as a widely-used, but rather unintuitive way to undo something. Cleverness is cute, but not necessarily intuitive. Users will always goof up (well, that's not the phrase he used), and Lee warned developers to always think of ways to work out of those mistakes easily.
On the subject of marketing, Lee warned devs that it's a lot like sex - you're not going to be good at it the first time. Marketing needs to be like lighting a fuse; spend your money initially to start the fire, and make sure that the people are going to talk about and recommend your application to their friends. Lee also noted that it's Important to get other people's perspective on your app, as what a developer might think is an amazing and easy-to-use app might be totally underwhelming and difficult to another person.
That's a high-level overview of the topics discussed during the keynote; just throw in some of the most raucous dirty jokes you can imagine, toss in a good sprinkling of four-letter words, and you can imagine how much laughter there was during the talk. Don't ask about the Care Bear hat in the photo...