Art Matters

I'm in a Microsoft building today that I've not been in before. There are a lot of them since I'm a relatively new employee. This one houses a lot of the work that goes into the Windows Phone 7 operating system, and that's pretty cool.

I arrived early for my conference and decided to spend some time meandering. A 3rd floor native told me I should visit the Windows Phone design studio on the 2nd. The design studio looks like a bunch of art supplies, flowers, and rainbows blew up. It's very cool actually.

I'm a propeller head for sure, so it's important to me that a system functions correctly, but I want never to forget that art matters. It matters because it's human like your users. When I picked out my SCUBA gear, for instance, its ability to sustain my existence while I'm under water was certainly high on my priority list, but it was also an assumption for the most part. SCUBA gear wouldn't likely make it to the consumer shelf if it wasn't well tested. So I essentially set that aside and look for gear that I enjoy looking at - gear that makes me feel like a Navy Seal Ninja.

Know that your users are making the same assumptions that your application is going to function as it's intended, and they are going to choose it, keep it, and pay for it based on its art. Is it beautiful? Is it smooth like butter? Is it inspirational.