Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Mighty Lesson

When I switched to the OSX platform as my full-time development environment a year and a half ago, I selected the wireless Apple Mighty Mouse as my pointing device.

I like the look of the device. I like the clutter free wirelessness (real word?) of it. It's comfortable enough. It generally does what I need it to. But then there is that gray pimple right in the middle that wrecks everything.

The track ball is nothing short of absolute, total, complete garbage. I don't know, maybe I have the oiliest fingers in the world - but that scroll ball simply will not work for me. Oh sure, after taking the time to clean it, it works for a while - but then quickly stops.

But this post isn't about the Mighty Mouse. There are plenty of reviews already available. This post is about the lesson to be learned as web craftsmen (craftswomen included!).

Our work might be 90% elegant and successful... but that last 10% is equally important.
As we develop our abilities and deliver our creations (design, code, UI, IA, etc...) as web craftsmen it is important to pay attention to details. Like the Mighty Mouse, our work might be 90% elegant and successful... but that last 10% is equally important. That useless pimple mocks me every time I look at the mouse. Every time I go to scroll, it is a recurring frustration.

After a while, users can't help put focus on the "one thing". The blemish can overshadow the beauty, just as the dot to the right dominates the pure white space.

So before we finalize our next project, perhaps it's best to walk away for a bit. When we return, think about the user and polish up any rough edges that will cause our users pain or discomfort.

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