A while back, a young marketing professional visited our humble offices to inquire about opportunities. After getting a thorough demo of Buzzword, she stated in no uncertain terms, “It’s lickable!” We didn’t really have an opening for a marketing person at the time, but her comment has had a lasting effect on us.
We have frequently heard reactions like that since. Of course, it’s gratifying to hear such euphoric praise and we all think our designer, Robby, is worthy of every syllable.
Today we got a similar reaction from the blog Apple Matters, in a post entitled, Will Your Mac’s Next Word Processor Be Online and from Adobe?
Where Buzzword kills its competitors, though, is the same place Apple does: design. Buzzword is so gorgeous you just want to use it. Nothing out there, not even Apple’s own apps, have as nice a visual design as Buzzword.
In addition to having a great designer, we have another advantage: by developing in Flex and delivering on the Flash platform, we have a canvas that’s much richer than HTML on which to design and deliver Buzzword. It’s not just the animations and effects that come so naturally to the environment, or the programmatic control; it’s the actual surface itself, which is vector graphics based. This means that there’s something palpably richer, more luxuriant about what we can deliver than, say, an HTML editor can.
The most recent piece of feedback about our design arrived yesterday, from Jorge Salazar*, a relatively new Buzzword user, who was very enthusiastic about the Buzzword experience:
I have been using word processors since 1983 (BTM: before the mouse), and for the very first time I felt a connection between the software and my thoughts. The software actually enhanced my thoughts since it will show my words with the texture and quality of a printed book. Very seldom you get to experience software that adds to your ideas. You get those experiences when using an iPod or iPhone, or driving a Ferrari…
Jorge went on to explain:
Google’s Document is very good, but Buzzword is by far superior because it takes writing documents to a new experiential level.
Buzzword, for the first time since I put down the pen and started typing, brought back the joy of looking at my words as I type them, seeing them become as real as the page of any book or printed material. They talk back to me. That is an order of magnitude better than anything I have experienced before with any word processor. Thank you for bringing that into the World.
It is interesting to see him again invoke imagery that is virtually tactile, with terms such as “texture“, “new experiential level” and “as real as the page“.
You might ask whether this degree of experience matters. Our assumption has been that if you enjoy the environment, you’ll stay longer. In other words, Buzzword may actually induce people to write more, and better. We heard from one High School senior who, on the first day of winter break sat down to use Buzzword and enjoyed the experience so much, including getting feedback and peer reviews, that she finished all her essays in short order – and she attributes her success to Buzzword (though we’re pretty sure the looming application deadlines helped).
It seems that many people agree: with the rich palette and canvas that is Flex, in the hands of a master artist like Robby, the Buzzword experience almost transcends the screen to indeed become, well, “lickable”.
* Jorge is a Business Consultant with US offices in Los Angeles