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Design This

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Business 2.0’s "Cool Design Won’t Save a Dud Product" is a study of how products that win industrial design awards can still flop in the marketplace. Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s useful.

The principles discussed in this article apply to software design, too. You can’t create an unusable piece of software, put an attractive UI on it, and expect it to do well.

Steven Garrity
March 12, 2002 8:31 PM

Good link. 'Design' is too often limited to the visual realm. If a product ends up being a dud, it's probably wasn't 'designed' well in the first place. When I hear people say that something was well designed in concept, but just didn't work in the real world - I always go on a rant: No, it WAS NOT well designed if it didn't work. Maybe it was visually stylish, but design (even the more specific, graphic design), means more than that. Was a product well designed but cost too much to product? Lame - good designers (in whatever the field may be) would understand the importance of factors like production cost. See a good article on the the difference between style and design at Alistapart: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/bathingape/

Adam Kalsey
March 13, 2002 9:41 AM

The other problem occurs when design is an afterthought. It usually ends up like putting makeup on a pig. The pretty surface layer doesn't make the whole package any more attractive.

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