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Required Reading, deux fois:
Joel Spolsky: The Iceberg Secret, Revealed
"The project was almost 100% code complete. We were still waiting for the graphic designer to choose fonts and colors and draw the cool 3-D tabs. In the meantime, we just used plain fonts and black and white, there was a bunch of ugly wasted space on the screen, basically it didn't look very good at all. But 100% of the functionality was there and was doing some pretty amazing stuff. What happened during the demo? The clients spend the entire meeting griping about the graphical appearance of the screen. They weren't even talking about the UI. Just the graphical appearance. complained their project manager. That's all they could think about. We couldn't get them to think about the actual functionality."
I remember myself, when I was very young, staring for days, again and again, at screenshots of NeXTSTEP in an old CHIP magazine. That was at a time when all you could buy at a reasonable price was running Windows 3.1 — and boy, this system looked so good. It radiated advancedness. The visual appearance of programs is the . It must never be underestimated, as hardly anyone will ever get into contact with the elegance of the source code. Thanks, Joel, for articulating that in such a fantastic manner.
Paul Graham: Taste for Makers
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Christian Langreiter, Langkampfen