Marco Arment regarding the lack of polish in certain areas of Android OS:

Attention to detail, like most facets of truly good design, can’t be (and never is) added later. It’s an entire development philosophy, methodology, and culture.

In the 4-hour drive back to Denver from Vail yesterday my cousin and I were talking about this. Not related to Android OS specifically, but to design and development work in general.

My cousin is a programmer for an IT consulting company. He does web development for clients that hire his company. He calls consulting work The Art of the 85 Percent. Meaning, many companies which hire a 3rd-party to build their website or web app only care about getting it 85% completed. They want it good enough to ship in the least amount of time possible for the least amount of money possible.

Which means, most web apps and sites ship at only 85% finished and never see improvements again.

Once an app or a site is 85% completed then it’s usually good enough to be launched. Even though it still has bugs, typos, misalignments, and inconsistencies, it’s good enough.

For a lot of people and companies good enough is good enough.

Taking a project from being good enough to being polished will take more than twice the time, twice the energy, and twice the money. And that second half is the harder half because, compared to the first stage, progress seems slower and less noticeable yet the time and energy spent is the same.

Many companies see that as a waste. Why spend more time and energy to fine-tune a product that’s already good enough? If attention to detail is not a part of your company’s culture, then good enough will always be good enough.

Attention To Detail is Not a To-Do Item