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Comment on "Thoughts on Human Interface Guidelines"
by Bill Coleman — Oct 23
Scott, as a developer who started writing code for the Mac in 1984, I don't remember a time that the Mac "orbited" Windows. EVER.

Now, in the early and mid-90's, Windows certainly garnered a lot more attention than the Mac, but the Mac was always on its own trajectory.

As for the HIG issue -- it's been around a long, long time. Back in 1988, Hypercard broke a lot of the rules. And it took forever for Apple to deliver a lot of the UI controls that Hypercard introduced as standard controls.

For a large software house like Apple, it's not a huge proposition to say, "OK, we don't quite get the right feel from using the standard controls, we're going to whip up our own." Which is why you see so much custom stuff in, or the way iTunes appears to change style with every season.

For a small developer, creating a lot of custom controls can be prohibitive. Leveraging existing work is very important to producing a quality product.

The key to producing a quality product, I think, is user testing. Regardless of what UI design you come up with, you need to validate it in front of real users.
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