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14 Mar 2008

by Noel

Welsh’s First Corollary to Weakliem

Weakliem’s First Rule of Application Development states, roughly, that design is less important than functionality. While I agree in principle I think his proof is lacking in a number of places. Specifically, he states: “Recall that when Google first appeared, most search engines embraced the design philosophy still in evidence at MSN.com: bright and noisy, yet roughly equivalent in functionality. Google was positively audacious in both its austerity and its function. … Similarly, My employer’s website is frequently ridiculed for being amateurishly designed” What I think he forgets is all design, however amateurish, still conveys something. Google’s (to my eyes incredibly ugly) logo said “hey, we’re a bunch of geeks having some fun” which exactly matches the company culture and helps attract all those PhDs that Google employs. Similarly Gordon’s employer’s website looks like it was designed by someone’s cousin, but that is the right look for its clients. It gives the website credibility with the consumers who put down a large chunk of change for a holiday they can only afford once a year. Good design is design that is right for the target audience, which can be something very different to aesthetically pleasing design.

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