I completely disagree with this writers view. The premise is so ridiculous that I am sat here genuinely wondering if he accidentally sent his April Fools article live a few days too early.
When talking about UI design he starts with "The truth is that it’s actually hardly important at all" and continues with "It doesn’t matter how unique your UI is, competitors will eventually copy it and it will end up commoditised".
He is misunderstanding what design is. As Steve Jobs famously said. It's not how it looks, it's how it works.
So is this writer saying how a product works is hardly important at all?
If that's the case then the assumption is that code is the only important element. In which case someone better let Facebook, Microsoft and every other big tech company investing 10's of millions on talented designers know that they are wasting their money. It's not that important.
These big companies know, more than anyone, that design not only adds tremendous value but it IS one of the single biggest determiners of a successful products vs an unsuccessful one. One that people love to use and thus tell others about and one that sits gathering dust at best and actively hurts the company and brand at worst.
Design is crucial. Small design changes equal BILLIONS in additional revenue for companies like Amazon, and SIGNIFICANTLY higher engagement for social apps like Facebook. That's everything.
That's why designers at top companies are now achieving salaries on par with their developer colleagues. Big companies are not paying designers handsomely out of the goodness of their hearts they are doing so because they know good design is not a little bit important, but hugely important.
On his second point about UI design being copied. I guess I'm missing the point. Because a companies good design will be copied they don't persue a well designed app? It's not a zero sum game.
I do agree with one element of the article though. That the pursuit of uniqueness in design is often a waste of time. But as any good designer knows, uniqueness is never the goal anyway. The goal is always usability so I don't understand why he's even saying this.
I've let Facebook know. Couldn't get through to Microsoft though.
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