Seriously: Just Build Applications and Interfaces that Work

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The problem

So here I sit with a wonderful copy of CS4 running on my machine. I would love to scan something into my lovely version of Photoshop but unfortunately I can’t. Why is it, you ask, that I can’t scan something directly into Photoshop CS4? Well it seems that there is no official TWAIN support for 64bit in Windows so Adobe didn’t include it. I’ve never had trouble with TWAIN on my Mac so why should I install the plugin manually?

The Rant

Here’s the thing, I don’t care if there is no official support. I just spent hundreds (thousands if you bought a full CS4 package) on a piece of software and it doesn’t work. I don’t care about the reason I just want to be able to scan things directly into Photoshop. It worked in CS3 it should work now too. If there is no official support then write unofficial support for it. For the Mac have an extra check box that includes it by choice. Don’t make us dig through a disc image and manually install it.

This also made me think of Linux and Ubuntu and how I don’t care about their partially ‘holier than thou’ attitude towards flash and non-open technologies. Until Ubuntu just works with the web out of the box no one but nerds (I use it. I am a nerd) is going to use it.

My wife doesn’t care about some philosophical argument on how things should be open. She wants to get a new computer go to YouTube and watch a flash video. Sure she may have to update a plugin, but enable ‘restricted extras’, nope she might as well just toss the machine out.

Again we can relate this to the favourite philosophical argument of the web designer, dealing with IE 6. As I wrote a few weeks back, clients don’t care about the philosophical arguments. They want their site to work for their clients. So lets cut the crap and if the user base justifies it, support IE 6.

The Appeal

So here is my appeal to software companies, and web designers. I don’t want to hear the whiny crap about why things don’t work. I just want it to work. It’s not a big request to scan things into Photoshop. It’s not an out of touch request to want to watch flash videos without extra work. We’re not crazy for wanting to support the browsers our clients use. So do what’s right for your users and leave the crap for some other bad company.

The Resolution

This also means that as a web designer I need to cut the crap. Interfaces should make sense. You should look at it and it should work. We shouldn’t build craptacular philosophical arguments to justify bad interfaces. Things should be designed to make sense so just do it. The competition is only a click away.