The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

The archives will remain online indefinitely.

Success == (Great Design) && (Other Stuff)

Great design is just one component of a successful product, along with marketing/branding, distribution capability, etc.  Apple not only had strong branding and recognition in their company name but also a great design with their iPod (in particular, they were the first to use that touch pad interface which was surprisingly elegant and usable).  Now "iPod" itself is an established brand which in most people's minds represents great design, evidenced by the numerous business and technical articles, referring to iPod as example of good design.

Creative may have good product with their Zen, but their branding is weak, nobody knows who they are, except maybe computer geeks...  they're just another player in a sea of no-name players.  Probably their marketing and distribution abilities also cannot compete with Apple either.

I think one interesting thing to look out for in this market is the rise of WMA based players.  This is basically Microsoft trying to commoditize the hardware and providing value through software (WMA format).  If MS gets their way, then we will end up in a situation similar to PCs, where particular brand of hardware matters less, and there will be multiple successful players dominating the market.

Anyway, I've wandered off topic so I'll stop.  Joel, I enjoy all your articles and look forward to the series on Great Design... just be realistic and not imply in your articles that great design is the sole reason why products like iPod are successful.  I think great design should be appreciated and studied regardless of how it does in the marketplace.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
When it comes to software, often the great design is in the code and no one ever sees it except the programmers. And it's safe to assume management and customers could care less as long as it works.

Sometimes "good enough" is perfect.
MBJ Send private email
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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