Thursday, January 28, 2010


Down by the corner of the street,
Where the three roads meet,
And the feet
Of the people as they pass go "Tweet-tweet-tweet",
Who comes tripping round the corner of the street?
One pair of shoes which are Nurse's;
One pair of slippers which are Percy's. . .
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
Milne, from When We Were Very Young (1924), from tonight's story time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Chief Taste Officer" -- I like the sound of that -- maybe "Benevolent Dictator of Design"

Hire a GOD of UX, not a pixel pusher.

Maybe call them the Chief Taste Officer. You’re looking for someone who is equal parts Steve Jobs, Don Draper, and Seth Godin. Assuming such a person exists (and that you can hire them) they will be responsible for Quality, top to bottom, and they’ll have the power (hiring, budget, creative authority, whatever it takes) to make it happen.

This is a pretty tall order. It may even be impossible. Apple was able to do it, but only because Steve Jobs is a genius who wanted his baby back, and Apple was circling the drain so Jobs was given the time and authority he needed to remake the company.
Can you reinvent a software company by hiring a pixel pusher?

We’re not all solo auteurs. Collaboration, compromise, and constraints are inescapable when building complicated products. The secret is to make sure that even as work is distributed, ownership of the work’s quality isn’t.

If you’re a software company, your people should have titles like these:

God of Bringing in the Money
God of Servers
God of Programming
God of the User Experience

Show me a company without a designated (and opinionated) “God of UX” and I’ll show you a company that makes crap.
Pop Quiz: Who is your God of UX?

Friday, January 01, 2010

No legendary design on the web?

Why there are no legendary web designers got me all in bunch earlier today, had to share here. In reply to:
The web is a low resolution, low fidelity, crappy medium.

A quick gut check: Would you ever hang a web design on your wall? can go read the rest of the piece if you want, I replied:
Couldn't disagree more. There are plenty of web designs that I would project onto my wall (or maybe display in a digital frame)--printing them would be impractical because of the low resolution you have at the center of your argument. Also, those sites I would choose to use as art would not be the content-centric ones you mention (although there are some that make the aesthetics of text true art). If all you think of when you think of the web is TechCrunch and CNN then no, certainly not. But there are some amazing artists doing work designed and delivered on the web. Similarly, there are some very famous artists who used low-fidelity technologies centrally in their art.

Your other arguments fall apart equally as fast--looking at a painting is a solitary experience abstracted from our sense of touch and smell, and yet the visual arts is one of our primary artistic forms.

Also, it's 2010! If you are bashing the web based on bandwidth and screen resolution, where were you in 2000, or 1995?