What Loren has done in his design of Tweetie 2 is similar to what many of the best authors do in their writing. Some authors lay out plainly points 1, 2, 3, and 4, so we, the readers, are sure to be with them when they reach the height of point 5.

But, in my estimation, only the best writers have the skill to skip 2 and 4 while still bringing us to 5 — their prose alludes to the missing pockets of plot just right so that we figure it out on our own. And this they do without us realizing, because though we were actually led by the writer, we feel like smarter readers.

It is in this regard that software developers are not unlike writers. But instead of a plot they have a feature set, and instead of prose, a UI. The developer can lay out the whole of their feature set before the user with menus, sub-menus, and more. Or they can hide pieces of it hoping that each feature will be discovered, but knowing that perhaps they won’t.

But ignorance can still be bliss, because in my book a simple, well-written application that delights is far better than a feature-rich one which overwhelms. And this is why Tweetie 2 is not just my favorite Twitter application on any platform, period, it may also just be my favorite iPhone app.

October 20, 2009