Silicon Prairie News

Sunday Video: Wufoo co-founder on designing web apps users love

September 11, 2011 by Danny Schreiber Only 21 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Yesterday's BarCamp Omaha was chuck-full of fantastic talks, ranging from a lesson on digital cameras to a discussion of virtual teams. As an attendee, I was able to take in five of the sessions and of them, one that I especially enjoyed was Kevin Hale's "How to design web apps users love."

As the co-founder of San Francisco-based Wufoo, which was acquired by Survey Monkey earlier this year, Hale made his way to BarCamp Omaha via the BarCamp Tour, a team of five companies that have joined up to sponsor nearly a dozen BarCamps through the U.S.

Though none of the BarCamp Omaha talks were recorded yesterday, I was delighted to find a video of Hale giving a version of his talk in September at Startup Bootcamp, and thus I've chosen this video for today's Sunday Video.

Hale opens his talk with a memorable one-liner of Wufoo: "It's basically a web-based version of Microsoft Access but it looks like it was designed by Fisher-Price." He goes on to describe how that design coupled with their customer support-centric mindset brought them to profitability in under a year.

"The key has nothing to do with sort of design techniques or a lot of weird methodologies," Hale said. "It's sort of a value system that we created, and we created this value system to create this sort of software design process that we internally have called 'support driven design.'

"Essentially," Hale said, "it's a philosophy that sort of injects, or tries to inject, responsibility, accountability and humility back into the software design process."

I'd encourage you to take in this 28-minute presentation by Hale, and if you're interested in learning more about his story and Wufoo, check out his hour-long interview with Andrew Warner of Mixergy: "How Wufoo Turned A Profit In 9 Months By Selling Slick, Simple Forms – with Kevin Hale".

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