Betas

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In college, I double-majored in Computer Science and English. At the time, it was an unusual combination, and I fielded many comments about it. There are quite a few parallels between writing novels and writing software, however, and this past week’s intensive beta testing of our app has driven that home.

When a writer finishes a manuscript, she hopefully sends it out to several people who will read it critically and provide feedback, letting her know about points of confusion or inconsistencies. Sometimes an editorial letter might not seem like a huge deal, but as the writer begins to pull at one thread, she finds that other parts begin to unravel. Eventually, she decides she needs to take a step back and look at the story’s overall architecture. Some parts will still work. Others will need to be rethought. That’s how revision works, and if you stick with it and listen to the whys behind reader comments, you’ll eventually (hopefully!) have a much stronger finished product.

We had some awesome beta testers for our app, and that led to significant rethinking and revision of this project, in particular how the navigation works and how the story is shown. Our betas told us what they loved (there’s one element that appears to be universally loved — unusual!) and gave us feedback on user interactions, design elements, text, and navigation. Andrew and I’ve been passing edits and ideas back and forth and pushing hard to finish. We’re in the polishing stages now, and I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on. For now, here’s another hint…

While we’re at it, how about a sneak peek at another work in progress…

A photo posted by Anindita (@arialas) on

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