Thinking Through Integrations

Not too bad, right?

Here’s a first attempt at what an integration with Evernote might be like (make sure to sign-up if you’re interested in this!). It’s a first pass, if anything.

The important thing to remember from a development side of things is this: Getting the integration piece solid, first, is more important than creating some super-robust and comprehensive feature-set. In time I can expand any features that might make additional sense for users.

Creating integrations with existing technology platforms takes time and a lot of thought. On the outside-looking-in it can appear almost too simple but there are many factors to think over.

The most important one for me is this: Does this integration impact the user-experience of the overall app? And especially, will it detract or distract from the core mission and objective of the application itself?

I often think about all the unnecessary features that many applications have and I shudder to think that slowly, over time, Desk could appear that way. I want to always keep things simple and focused.

A good way to think about this is the elements and features of a car. What are truly the core elements and features that are necessary? 4 wheels, a chassis, a steering wheel, engine, brakes, gas pedal, and anything directly related to combustion. Right?

So what’s unnecessary? Especially if your core objective is getting a person from Point A to Point B? You can throw away pretty much everything else including all of the dashboard elements. Features must be related to the core objective, the core mission. Otherwise, it’s just fluff.

In any case, it’s how I think through these points of integration. It can’t just be “Oh yeah, that would be amazing! Let’s do it!” but rather a long, drawn out conversation with the application itself, the mission & objective, and the users.

But perhaps most importantly, as the product developer and designer, I have to feel “good” about it too.

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