Tip: Build a quality gadget

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 3:48 PM

What makes a quality gadget?

Platform specification:
If you create a gadget only for Windows, make sure that the gadget is not installable on Mac or Linux: For more information, check the gadget.gmanifest documentation.

Good performance:
The gadget should make optimum use of the hardware and operating system services. The efficiency of software can usually be greatly improved by an intelligent choice of high-level algorithms, rather than using local “tricks” or optimizations that can lead to maintenance problems. Factors that may be of interest are response time and memory requirements.

The gadget should continue to function in non-standard conditions such as incorrect user input. For example, when the user types something wrong, you can warn the user with a basic message box.

Appropriate interface:
The gadget should be friendly and inviting to users. The design and choice of the interface should take into account the needs and capabilities of the users. Many times, gadget features are not utilized because the interface is difficult.

The gadget must link to a website that provides support and information about the gadget. On the website, you can write detailed descriptions about what the gadget can do. And don’t forget to display your email address so the users can easily provide feedback about your gadget, offer to translate it, or report a bug. Try to always include a page with frequently asked questions. One good idea is to add a YouTube video about your gadget on the website to show what it can do.

Posted by Stefan Van Damme, Gadget Developer

via Google Desktop APIs.