Stephen Hackett:

Microsoft is compromising where it matters the most — the user experience. [...]

To Microsoft, the product comes first. Apple puts the customer first.

I felt the same way after using the Galaxy Nexus. In my review I wrote:

In short, the Galaxy Nexus seems more like a phone that its makers can brag about making rather than a device that its users would brag about owning. It has all sorts of features that seem great on posters and billboards and board meeting reports, but none of those features enhance the actual user experience.

It’s not that Apple puts the users first out of the goodness of their hearts. Designing a killer user experience is part of their core business model. They put users first because happy customers are good for business.

When you are having a brainstorming session with your business partners, it is easy to raise the flag that user experience is your company’s number one priority. But on a granular level, putting the user first is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of time, energy, and attention to detail. When it gets into the nuts and bolts of putting the users first, it’s easy to stop when you reach good enough.

But good enough is a recipe for irritated users, not happy ones.

Like I said in my piece yesterday on the iPhone being 5 years ahead of other software:

You can use Apple’s ideas and you can copy their products, but you cannot copy the time and energy they put into those products, and you cannot copy their attention to detail. Those you have to do on your own. Five years later, some companies still haven’t figured that out.

(As an aside, Apple’s march against good enough will also be found in so many of the 3rd-party iOS and Mac OS X developers. That is because like begets like. Attention to detail breeds attention to detail, and excellence breeds excellence. Android, however, is good enough. Therefore, so are the majority of its 3rd-party apps.)

January 10, 2012