< Back to blog
User interface designers usually want to make their work as polished as possible (See: Almost all of Dribbble).
This isn't a bad thing, of course (Exception: Almost all of Dribbble).
Some people, however, need a user interface but don't have the time, skill, or money to devote to something flashy. Self-employed app or website developers, for example.
I've noticed a number of apps and services over the years that are successful with a user interface that is only "good enough".
Here's a collection of snippets on the topic, in case anyone else is as interested as I am.
David Smith makes apps, mostly for iOS and Apple Watch. His website is here.
His apps and website usually have very functional interfaces, and are not particularly flashy.
I think this is great - He's making it on his own and has proven that he can be successful with "good enough" interfaces.
I asked him about this on Twitter, and he pointed me to an episode of his podcast, Under The Radar. Here's the relevant part:
Making an app that ... works right and is functional and intuitive - that part, I think I have a good handle on ... They just tend to not be pretty, and in general I've found that people are pretty forgiving about things not being pretty. They'd rather it be functional ...
Here's Marco Arment writing about his current main source of income, Overcast:
iOS 7 shook up the market and, by pure luck, shifted high-end iOS design away from fashions I could never compete in - heavy use of textures and complex graphical widgets - into what I could actually do: simplicity, space, and typography.
Fried wrote a great piece about why ugly design can work, and he focused on the Drudge Report. Here's a snippet, but you should read the whole thing:
When you visit The Drudge Report, you get the Drudge report. There are no interstitial ads. There's no load time. There's no buffering. There's nothing but instant content. The Drudge Report is Google-fast and Craigslist fast
< Back to blog