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Old 07-14-2012, 03:51 PM   #91
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You are implying that UIs only need to appeal to UI designers?
Taste in clothes can only be had by fashion designers?
Books are only to be appreciated by authors?

If he said the UI was poorly coded, you might have a point.
Not poorly coded. Just ugly. Of course "ugly is in (the eye of) the beholder". He did not say WHAT he found ugly about it. At least he did not say that it was fugly.

The point was that it is a lot easier to criticize, condemn, and complain about somebody ELSE's hard work, when you have no experience doing that kind of work yourself. If you knew how hard it is, you may not be quite so critical.

And not suggesting improvements that would make it better (CONSTRUCTIVE criticism) is just plain destructive criticism at its worst.

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:07 PM   #92
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The point was that it is a lot easier to criticize, condemn, and complain about somebody ELSE's hard work, when you have no experience doing that kind of work yourself. If you knew how hard it is, you may not be quite so critical.
It's still an ugly mix of diarrhoea brown splatters and purple blobs. When I first used the store myself I thought it was one of the ugliest UIs I've seen in recent years.

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And not suggesting improvements that would make it better (CONSTRUCTIVE criticism) is just plain destructive criticism at its worst.
Why should people who dislike something be expected to tell the person who made it how to do their job? They're supposed to do their job right in the first place.

Saying 'you can't complain unless you've made something better' is one of the dumbest (and, sadly, most common) arguments on the Internet.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #93
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Yeah, as a working application developer for 20 years, I'm 100% with Edward here.
My users (read:customers) are allowed to complain. Sometimes I get to tell them (even convince them) why what they want is impractical, or otherwise undoable or bad, more often, I make changes until they are satisfied. I wouldn't keep my job if I took the attitude that many Internet hobbyist devs take toward anyone who criticizes their work.

"If you knew how hard it is, you may not be quite so critical."
Imagine if your brain surgeon used that line after a botched surgery?

Of course it's hard. That's why professionals do it. That's no excuse for not doing it well.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #94
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It looks a lot better now that I've actually put content in it and found out how to get my album covers to show.

Google isn't about making things look pretty. They are in it for the numbers. That's why you constantly see changes to the homepage and it's why one of their designers left:

http://stopdesign.com/archive/2009/0...ye-google.html

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With every new design decision, critics cry foul. Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. “Is this the right move?” When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.
As for disagreeing with your clients, that's understandable, but you also have a right to drop your client if they're causing you too much stress. AND I have the right to say "Hold up, I have a small background in photography, journalism, and am one of those young people you're trying to make this site attractive to, so I know what I'm talking about, so hear me out just for once."

After all, it's work that will go in your portfolio, if you're not happy with it, why even bother? (Money of course, but that isn't what matters the most)

And these people shouldn't even be hired - http://clientsfromhell.net/
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:07 PM   #95
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Google isn't about making things look pretty.
[rant]
Funny thing, the one thing Google keeps doing that ticks me off is trying to make things look pretty.

I came to love Google search for it's simple white screen, loading fast on any browser, on any connection, and nothing ticked me off more than when they started adding fade-in menus and tools bars.

Similarly on Gmail, the old simple WAP-like mobile view worked on my K2, and any other way I ever needed to access, just fine. Now the mobile view has floating tool bars that disappear on my Fire, and other annoyances, and I can't see that it brought me any value other than trying to look pretty.

Grrr!
[/rant]
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:30 PM   #96
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We did usability studies and eye tracking, and followed standard design principles. I realize that you cannot make everybody happy, but people who say it is "ugly" with no constructive suggestions about how to make it better are not helpful, and in fact those of us who have designed similar user interfaces can feel hurt by that. Sometimes (usually) there is a REASON why it looks the way it does (usually, less confusing to less people during a usability study). And the color schemes are often to compensate for visual difficulties such as color blindness, or outdoor viewing, or sometimes even to fit "company standards". There is a lot that goes into even the apparently simple design decisions. And it is often an iterative process evolving through a series of small changes until the participants are happy.

Regarding that screenshot, I do not think it is ugly. It looks adequately functional to me, and not all "hotdog stand", so what problems EXACTLY remain with it?

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Old 07-14-2012, 08:38 PM   #97
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Regarding that screenshot, I do not think it is ugly. It looks adequately functional to me, and not all "hotdog stand", so what problems EXACTLY remain with it?
That, or something along the lines of "What do you find ugly about it?" may have been a more fruitful initial reply to the comment.

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We did usability studies and eye tracking, and followed standard design principles
Are you saying YOU worked on that Play app UI???

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #98
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Here's my setup now:



You don't have to use those widgets, but I think they're nice. You have to use live/static wallpapers that blend in with it though. Obviously my phone camera doesn't do it justice like a screenshot would. However the ADB is not working on our builds yet.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:13 PM   #99
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We did usability studies and eye tracking, and followed standard design principles. I realize that you cannot make everybody happy, but people who say its "ugly" with no constructive suggestions about how to make it better are not helpful, and in fact those who have designed similar user interfaces can feel hurt by that. Sometimes (usually) there is a REASON why it looks the way it does (usually, less confusing to less people during a usability study). And the color schemes are often to compensate for visual difficulties such as color blindness, or outdoor viewing, or sometimes even to fit "company standards". There is a lot that goes into even the apparently simple design decisions. And it is often an iterative process evolving through a series of small changes until the participants are happy.

Regarding that screenshot, I do not think it is ugly. It looks adequately functional to me, and not all "hotdog stand", so what problems EXACTLY remain with it?
What's the old line about a camel being a horse designed by a committee? Let that many people get involved and you're going to end up with ugly. Let one person's vision shine through and you might have a fighting chance.

As for being "adequately functional" that's a pretty low bar to set. Fortunately as a consumer I have a choice and can choose to reject dross that is only "adequately functional"
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:22 PM   #100
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Here's my setup now:



You don't have to use those widgets, but I think they're nice. You have to use live/static wallpapers that blend in with it though. Obviously my phone camera doesn't do it justice like a screenshot would. However the ADB is not working on our builds yet.
Still ugly
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #101
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That, or something along the lines of "What do you find ugly about it?" may have been a more fruitful initial reply to the comment.

Are you saying YOU worked on that Play app UI???
Oops. One of my common typos is to leave out a couple of words in the middle of a sentence that makes it still appear correct. In "our studies", I was referring to (now corrected above): "those of us who have designed similar user interfaces". Sorry for that confusion. I make many typos these days. My fingers type different than what my mind pushes to them.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #102
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Still ugly
Okay, now I have to agree with you (THIS time). The new one just looks "harsh". I like the first one with its earthy tones a lot "more better".

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Old 07-14-2012, 10:57 PM   #103
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What's the old line about a camel being a horse designed by a committee? Let that many people get involved and you're going to end up with ugly. Let one person's vision shine through and you might have a fighting chance.

As for being "adequately functional" that's a pretty low bar to set. Fortunately as a consumer I have a choice and can choose to reject dross that is only "adequately functional"
"Functional" and "pretty" are not the same thing. Usability studies are not beauty contests. That is why you let the user spend his first two weeks playing with the GUI customization options before he gets down to the serious uses of the app. After he invests time in customizing it, it becomes his OWN design and that makes it a LOT harder for him to criticize.

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Old 07-14-2012, 11:19 PM   #104
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Saying 'you can't complain unless you've made something better' is one of the dumbest (and, sadly, most common) arguments on the Internet.
I did not say "you can't complain". I was just curious about what judgemental criteria were used to make that non-constructive criticism, and whether these criteria were based on actual user-interface design experience or just off-the-cuff personal opinion.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #105
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"Functional" and "pretty" are not the same thing. Usability studies are not beauty contests. That is why you let the user spend his first two weeks playing with the GUI customization options before he gets down to the serious uses of the app. After he invests time in customizing it, it becomes his OWN design and that makes it a LOT harder for him to criticize.
That sounds like a good approach to design the UI for an Industrial Milling Machine, but this is a tablet. People don't need a tablet, you have to make them want a tablet. You need design elements that can surprise and delight, not settle for adequately functional. I buy tools and appliances that are adequately functional, the bar is much higher for toys.
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