The "Creating Passionate Users
" Blog is one of the best sources for insightfull essays on user interface design and on building software for users. Right up there with Joel Spolsky in terms of good writing and solid principles.
I only just recently noticed that the bloggers there share something in common: They are all are all authors who have published with with O'Reilly's "Head First books" publisher house (http://www.wickedlysmart.com
). I don't know if the publisher put them together or if all the authors from that series have been invited to blog on that site, but it's a great idea.. I wish more organizations/publishers would try to team up a group of authors to make a team blog.. Relieves some of the stree of publishing daily and the interaction could be useful.
Anyway, today's essay is very thought provoking and somewhat counter-intuitive, and talks about the nature of the demo you should show off of your work-in-progress..
When we show a work-in-progress (like an alpha release) to the public, press, a client, or boss... we're setting their expectations. And we can do it one of three ways: dazzle them with a polished mock-up, show them something that matches the reality of the project status, or stress them out by showing almost nothing and asking them to take it "on faith" that you're on track.
The bottom line:
How 'done' something looks should match how 'done' something is.
ps. Very recently the "Creating Passionate Users" people seem to be really seriously trying to grub for attention from Robert Scoble.. It's a bit annoying.