Spending a bunch of time designing dashboards makes you appreciate well designed user interfaces.  If you’re paying attention, it’s easy to spot the ones you like, and the ones you don’t.  That said, it can be tough nailing down exactly what it is that makes the good ones good.

The best description I can come up with is tight.  Tight means that the user experience has no holes.  Every component on the screen has a purpose.  Getting things done is intuitive.  Everything (buttons, links, content) is right where you would expect it to be. 

Tight applies to more than just software.  Any process can be tight and when it is, your customers are delighted.  Here’s a few examples of tight:

  • The Toyota Production System:  Great example of an internal process that results in high quality product that customers love.
  • Basecamp:  The best example of well-designed software.  We use Basecamp as our client extranet.
  • MacBook Air:  The definition of tight.  Just what you need, nothing more.

Whether we know it or not, we all want tight.   We want to buy products and services with tight design.  We want to run a tight business.  Tight delivers results for us and our customers. 

Tight takes work.  It takes thought.  But, tight is what differentiates you from the rest.  What are you waiting for?


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