Why is Great Design So Hard?

I was reading a recent issue of CACM and a reprint of a CACM blog post caught my eye.

Why is Great Design So Hard? is an interesting post by an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University musing on why Apple seems to always get it right, while Microsoft always seems to struggle. This despite the fact that Microsoft has a higher UI Designer to Developer ratio than anybody in the industry.

He as a Part Two which goes on to explore Apple’s particular situation.

Interesting to observe that he begins to question whether the academic best practices in human-computer interaction (HCI) are indeed necessary, since Apple doesn’t seem to practice any of them.

I like his 5 reasons why other companies have not been able to reproduce Apple’s success with respect to design:

  1. Geek Culture.
  2. No one in charge of overall interaction and user experience.
  3. Design engaged too late in the process.
  4. UI Design has no real power in an organization or project.
  5. Many people in technical professions just don’t “get” design.

A light blog, but lots to chew on.

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