I’m increasingly convinced this ability to continuously discern the appropriate amount imperfection in a design to make it shippable, to leave room for future growth and iteration, to keep it simple, and to allow it an emotional core is one of the hallmarks of truly great designers and engineers
Products like these are savvy enough to allow sufficient room for a user to live within them, to flex his or her muscles and breathe freely within the product’s architecture. They’re also the result of considerable iteration and improvisation, and sometimes they show that fact almost baldly in their patchwork agglomeration of mismatched features. No one would call them beautiful but they work phenomenally well and users love them.
By contrast, I’ve seen more than a few designer-driven products that feature gorgeously rendered buttons, forms and U.I. cues — or even luxuriously minimal interfaces — that have also failed to grab the imagination of a critical mass of users.