Sometimes I ask myself what certain developers’ opinion on good usability or design is?
Let’s be more precise: At the point where a user chooses a certain operating system, he already decided for herself or himself what OS design and what type of usability he prefers. But lately I come across quite some applications that mix up the OS designs. One example is the spotify application that tries to look like it is a OSX application under windows. I assume the developers or even the responsible ones over at spotify want to have a share of the popularity of Apple products. Not that they need this kind of “cross platform publicity”. Their service is pure greatness anyway. But what they don’t seem to see is, that it doesn’t give the application a unique look. It just doesn’t fit into the design of a windows desktop and makes it a kind of alien element.
Well. At least they left the main window icons where they’re expected to be.
This sadly applies to a lot of applications nowadays. In my opinion as a designer I think that following the appropriate OS design is as necessary to achieve a great overall usability as it is a golden principle for companies to strictly follow it’s corporate design rules. Personalization is a good thing, but it should be left up to the user to choose the level of it. The worst effect of mixing up the OS styles of applications can be a reduced number of potential users. This might sound like a precarious assertion, but is based on my personal experience in the software industry.
I’m open for discussions. Please write me.