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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007  

Power. Interface. Choices.

On Friday I mused that Accordance's breadth and depth may make it hard for our users to communicate or even realize it's full scope. For example, our scholarly users may forget that Accordance is suitable for non-scholars, our "lay" users may not even be aware of how powerful Accordance is, etc. At the end of that post, I asked how you talk about Accordance to your friends and colleagues. I received some very interesting answers to that question in the comments on that post, and was encouraged to hear how effectively some of you are "evangelizing" others about the advantages of Accordance.

In this post, I want to talk about the way we've tried to communicate the full depth and breadth of what Accordance is.

At the top of each page of the Accordance web-site, you'll see the following tag-line: The power you need. The interface you expect. The choices you want. Here's what we mean by that three-fold description:

By the power you need, we're referring to all of Accordance's powerful features: original language searching, graphical constructs, sophisticated statistical analysis, the interactive atlas, and on and on. Basically, we mean to communicate that you're not going to find more powerful Bible software anywhere, and you'll likely never outgrow Accordance's feature-set (particularly given the rate at which we're continually expanding it!)

By the interface you expect, we mean to imply that Accordance offers the ease-of-use and elegance which Mac users especially have come to expect from the software they use. If I could only mention one thing about Accordance which sets it apart, it would be this. Other programs offer powerful features, and lots of programs offer large collections of material, but only Accordance offers all of that through a streamlined and accessible Macintosh interface.

By the choices you want, we mean to indicate that Accordance has a vast library of available resources, including Bible texts, original language texts, lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, etc. Our goal is not merely to produce "e-books" or to offer an electronic alternative to everything available in print. Rather, we want to offer those resources which are most useful for Bible study and in depth research. In other words, we're not trying to offer every conceivable choice, but to offer those choices which you our users most want—including many which other software developers cannot offer their users.

The power you need. The interface you expect. The choices you want. That's the most concise way we've come up with to communicate what sets Accordance apart.

The other way I've interpreted "the choices you want" is that you can pick and choose your resources rather than being limited to pre-determined bundles. One of the things I found most refreshing about purchasing my first Accordance bundle (Library 6, Introductory Level) was that I got to choose which modern Bible translation I wanted.

Several years ago I spent a lot of time researching Bible Software programs for the Windows machine at the church I served. I was frustrated to discover that the various programs either didn't include the NRSV at all, or only included it in the most expensive packages, which included a lot of items I didn't need. Being able to select "any" translation for my free unlock was, indeed, the choice I wanted!


David, this is slightly off topic, but one thing I've really liked among recent Accordance developments is the AccUpdater widget. It's incredibly convenient to let this widget update my software rather than going back and forth from Accordance's download page to my modules trying to determine whether or not I have the newest version.

However, my only complaint about the AccUpdater widget is that it's...well...a WIDGET. I have absolutely no love for those little things because they run separate from my other software. I would think that it might be more convenient to have a "Check for software updates" item either in the application menu or the help menu of Accordance. This is the kind of feature we've seen in a lot of recent Mac programs including Parallels and Mellel.

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Accordance is indispensable to me and my work regardless!

Power... definitely!
Choices... definitely!

Interface... well, on the OS X platform we expect localizations and multi-language support.

Hmm... seems this has become my mantra. Perhaps I'll stop for now.

Power. Yup!

Interface. Yup!

Choices. Nope, still no big kittel ;-)


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