Dave Feldman is a product designer in San Francisco, and works as Product Manager at Google. Previously he co-founded Emu, a smart chat app; was Entrepreneur in Residence for CrunchFund; product-managed the 2011 redesign of TechCrunch; and led the design team for Yahoo! Messenger. He’s extremely active on whatever social network was announced a few hours before you read this.
Lately, every app is “beautiful”. If you read tech news, you’ve seen this pageant: Beautiful charts and graphs. Beautiful stories. Beautiful texting. Beautiful notebooks. Beautiful battery information.
Aspiring to beauty in our designs is admirable. But it doesn’t guarantee usability, nor is it a product or marketing strategy. Like “simple” and “easy” before it, “beautiful” says very little about the product. How many people, fed up with PowerPoint, cry out in frustration, “If only it were more beautiful”?