Set good defaults

Posted: January 23, 2013 Comments

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Settings, defaults, arguments, options, and choices are something we all wrestle with every day. Whether we’re making them or implementing them, defaults are something that deserve an extra few minutes to think about. A general practice of many developers over the past few years has been to completely minimize the number of settings offered for any particular piece of software. I love that. The consistent design trend we’ve observed is minimalism. I’m not speaking of the aesthetic of minimalism but more-so the philosophy of minimalism. Clutter is widely accepted as the enemy when it comes to UI design, which is better for everyone, but it’s still trickling down to software it seems. I think that’s because so many people want to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to software. They want it to be super simple to use, but at the same time they want to change something just a little bit to better suit them. That issue quickly snowballs into a monstrous array of options that don’t need to be there in the first place and do nothing but essentially take away from the core purpose of the software. On the other hand, some settings make perfect sense in place. Finding that balance is a big piece of design.

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