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Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 1:34 PM

Look-and-feel does matter

Many a times I found programmers complaining about the latest assignment they have, "designing a new GUI" or improving the look-and-feel. No fault on their part. Programmers may not necessarily be good product designer who can change the feel. Its in taste. Some programmers may enjoy doing GUI (self taught) and others enjoy only coding.

I blame it to the project manager here, as he is not differentiating the skills needed for the designing the look-and-feel and probably unaware about the need of a better feel. He may have some resource constraints but then its true that product coming out of lab is not going to be #1.

Doing look-and-feel may be un-interesting to some, but one of the most important part of the product. Its the first thing which the end user observe and make their buying decsion. We do change our mind based on the looks of the product like car or bike or TV...whatever. We are ready to pay few bucks more for an appliance which is more elegant even though it has 1-2
features missing than the other one with dull color and crappy design. It applies to software as well.

Ever wondered why iPod is so hot, whats there in iMac, which sells 2 million units in its first year. Look at plaxo, skype which neatly plugs into your exisiting softwares and leave the user with a wonderful feel. Its MUCH to do with how it looks and how consumers feel while they use it.

Meet Jonathan Ive who is one of the finest product designer we have in the globle who knows the important art of making a successful software product.


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