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Usable software, and just shipping it

A few loosely connected weblog posts I read today…

John Gruber, “Ronco Spray-On Usability”:

“UI development is the hard part. And it’s not the last step, it’s the first step. In my estimation, the difference between:
  • software that performs function X; and
  • software that performs function X, with an intuitive well-designed user interface

isn’t just a little bit of extra work. It’s not even twice the work. It’s an entire order of magnitude more work. Developing software with a good UI requires both aptitude and a lot of hard work.”

Rick Roe, “The Good, the Bad, and the Tog”:

“The whole point of graphical user interfaces is that they balance efficiency with intuitiveness. An intuitive interface may make some tasks take longer to complete than they could in an interface designed for maximum efficiency, but you can learn it on the spot instead of having to take time digging through documentation.”

Andre Torrez, “Even You Can Do It”:

“Stop talking about it an just build it. Don’t make it too complicated. Don’t spend so much time planning on events that will never happen. Programmers, good programmers, are known for over-engineering to save time later down the road. The problem is that you can over-engineer yourself out of wanting to do the site.”