Sep 9, 2010 David Lang

Understated Power

"David's a nice guy but he sure talks about himself a lot." Hearing those words was like a punch in the gut. I was in college, and a Bible study leader relayed to me that a girl I knew had described me that way. What a blow to learn that rather than being seen as an interesting conversationalist, I was coming across as a self-absorbed boor. That revelation caused me to take a hard look at how I relate to people, and I soon learned that it is far more rewarding to let people discover interesting things about you than to give a laundry list of them when you first meet. Far better to hear, "I didn't know you could do that!" than to hear, "Yeah, you already told me you could do that."

Interestingly, I see the same "I didn't know you could do that!" reaction from many long-time Accordance users. When I show them powerful features like search details, construct searching, root searching, advanced search commands, the interactivity of the Atlas and Timeline, multi-field searching of Tools, and the like, they sometimes look at me as if they're discovering Accordance for the first time. We're always working to make these powerful features easily discoverable, but we also do our best not to hit you over the head with them.

There's a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with our desire not to be seen as boorish. Rather, it has everything to do with how we think "powerful" Bible study actually takes place. If the powerful features of Accordance distract you from actually digging into the text you're studying, all that power has actually interfered with your understanding of the text. Accordance is therefore designed to keep your focus on your passage of study rather than to overwhelm you with secondary information or whiz-bang features. With Accordance, the power is there when you need it, but out of the way when you don't.

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