Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Piece of Advice

Just like the use of different browsers can definitely affect our web surfing experience, so too the use of different Bible programs has more than a little bearing on our overall user experience. But the comparison breaks down in that Internet contents are the same for everyone. This is not always true of Bible software.

As one of my recent articles pointed out, what appears to be the exact same book turns out to be not quite the same in all respects. Add to that the fact that programs can handle similar resources in vastly different ways, and you're in for a few surprises.

There are, then, two basic things we should factor in when we consider buying/using any given Bible software:

1. Despite all the advertising, not all the electronic books (let alone the various kinds of tagging associated with them) marketed under the same title are the same. Try to ascertain which one is best for your needs.

2. There can be dramatic differences in the search capabilities of each product, the way results are displayed, general intuitiveness and user-friendliness, etc. See which one better approximates the way you work (or simply your tastes!).

These two seemingly innocent principles can go a long way in saving you some frustrations. Keep in mind that, no matter what they tell you, programs and packages are never equivalent. Each one of them will give you a different "user experience." So, even if the contents are basically alike, make sure that a clumsy interface, a poorly tagged resource, or a less than adequate search engine don't spoil your experience of using and enjoying Bible software.