This list is obviously subject to change over time. However, I was thinking about the software that I commonly recommend. This is the software that WOWs me. This is NOT in any particular order. They are all A+. I numbered them for easy reference
1. ExtJS – I suggest this one all the time. If you are building a web application using Dojo or Yui, you should definitely check out this JS library. It has made my job a million times easier with it’s solid interaction design foundation.
2. Tableau – Check out the Tableau demo. This application leap frogs any concept of what an analytics package should do. The way it’s designed makes exploration of data easy and answering questions intuitive. I love how this software works. Combine this with ExtJS and you get a web version. That would be redonkulous.
3. Digsby / Trillian Astra – I keep flip-flopping. Both of these instant messengers work superbly on Windows. Trillian has a iPhone version. Digsby has a widget (look to the right on my blog). Trillian is prettier, Digsby has better Twitter/Facebook/Gmail/LinkedIn integration. Both work flawlessly with AIM, MSN, Y! and GTalk. Highly recommended over the bloated native IM clients from the big companies.
4. Balsamiq – This is a storyboarding application to design user interfaces. It’s not perfect, but you have to watch how it works. It’s so much fun. Brilliant design. Combine this with Napkee and you can export to HTML or Flash. The only thing it’s missing is simple animation. I love the whole approach and vibe of Balsamiq.
5. Picasa – It is so pleasurable to use this software. I plug in my camera, it sucks it down, automatically rotates, easy to fix red eye and one click to share on Picasa Web Albums. It makes managing my thousands of photos a snap, plus acts as an online backup.
6. WordPress – This is my favorite software in the world. How can you possibly use any other blogging software? I suggest it for building flat websites too. I used it to make a elementary school CMS system. I can use it to fry eggs! This software is the best content management and web building software in the world.
You may or may not need or want something on this list. However, the goal of the exercise is not to make an ordered list. It is to get inspired by great WOW software. What is on your list?