I can code about as well as I can speak French, which means not well enough to get anything meaningful done. (Ou est le chien? Le chien est sur la table. Méchant chien!)
This places me, I imagine, among a large number of people that could be called ‘tech enthusiasts’, but not ‘techies’.
Lots of products out there *appear* to be aimed at people like me. But I’m finding that many of them are failing in the same way. Here are two examples:
I’m in the middle of building a new blog, using Squarespace. I picked it because it seemed to be a tool designed for people that want a lot of control over the design of their blog, but can’t code very well.
Annoyingly, though, it offers limited control over things, without tampering with the CSS. And once you do start tampering, you realise that there are lots of things you can’t affect without a Developer account (which you need to access the html). Which completely undermines the premium account you’re already paying for. Hence, with its range of templates, it is probably great for people who don’t care what their site looks like, specifically, as long as it looks nice.
I bought a Twine because it appeared to be aimed at people (again) that couldn’t code, but wanted to mess around with sensors. Again, it quickly transpired that you can’t do anything very interesting without coding. You can basically get the Twine to send an email, or a horribly formatted text message. Woo!
The more interesting opportunities (http requests) rely on some coding knowledge. And if you have that, you probably don’t need Twine at all.
In both these cases, I think the product is falling in the gap between two audiences. They’re too basic for people that can code – and too limited for novice coders. I guess my conclusion (if you can call it that) is that people are struggling to make things for this market. I think the aspiration exists to give the layman super-powers, but if you fail to do that, and fall in the gap, you’ve alienated everyone.
I suppose I better work on my coding. Et mon français, aussi.