The holistic nature of great design

by phil on Wednesday Jun 25, 2008 1:13 PM

Much has been said about great design as it appears finally in your hands. But what is the process of great design? I think it requires an attitude that doesn't look at a long list of minor usability complaints and think, "How can we attack half of them before shipping?" That would be an engineer's mindset. No, a lead designer would look at the whole entire slew of minor usability complaints and consider them as one giant major bug that is a must fix. Having 40% of the minor usability headaches solved is categorically different than having 80%. The difference is equivalent to an entire feature missing or not. The difference from 40% to 80% isn't more "polish," it's the difference between making something you pick up once in a while vs. something you want to keep always-on and always-engaged-in. Institutionally, though, your business may be only interested in whether a customer purchases and picks up the thing once.

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