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A few weeks ago longtime Mac developer Daniel Jalkut said something on Twitter that struck a chord with me.

"Little Big Details"

I just discovered the site Little Big Details (via a UI designer’s Twitter feed…only I can’t remember whose).

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. These sorts of details are what separate functional software from good software. This is the sort of thing I was talking about in “Priorities”. This is something that I think Apple gets right more than most people, but something which is good for everyone.

Whenever there’s a place in your program where you can leave things as they are, or make things easier on the user, and you’re not on a deadline, the right choice is always make things easier on the user.

Priorities

From Effective UI:

The point of software isn’t necessarily to engross your users in the experience of using the software, it is to keep them focused on the ultimate goals they’re trying to accomplish in using the software, rather than on the actual use of the software itself. […] To be truly and unobtrusively useful, software must clear the straightest, most frictionless path to the accomplishment of the user’s goals.

Effective UI is a very good book, one of the few instances where a discussion of UI (or UX, “user experience”) doesn’t drive me up a wall. This is…

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