Do you use your own product?

We’re just back from holidays down in Cornwall and Devon and a lovely time was had by all.

View of Falmouth

A view of Falmouth from one of our walks

Of course there has to be one exception: whenever we do any travel in the UK, I rarely carry change with me these days. And so, when parking the car, we rely on the various mobile parking apps to pay for our spaces.


After a couple of weeks away, I end up with a page of parking apps installed like this.

Some of the apps have nice features, but not one of them is actually staying on my phone now that I’m home.

And what’s the point of this post? Well, not a single one of the many different parking apps that I’ve installed, used and then deleted as quickly as possible over the years is any good to use. The registration process is awful and opaque. You have to enter your name, a card type (why?), a card number, expiration date, CVC and only then is validation run and a single mistake clears out all the fields and you have to start again.

I’ve reached the point where I’m pretty sure that the people responsible for the apps have ever actually tried to use them, while standing in a car park, in the rain, with impatient children tugging at your shirt because they want to get to the beach. NOW!

If you write apps that people have to use in sub optimal locations, as opposed to behind your desk with fast wifi, please, please, please think about how they will be used in the real world. Even if the app will be used from the comfort of a sofa, why not actually try using it for real yourself before inflicting it on the rest of the world?