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Real design is about creating a thoughtful, engaging user experience.

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Real design is not about pixel coloring.

It's not about how things look.

It's about great user experience.

What is considered web design today is not really design. It is styling, pixel coloring or whatever you’d like to call it.

Real design is about solving problems. It is way more holistic and deep than the actual work we do in Photoshop. Real design is about creating a thoughtful, engaging user experience. Aesthetic styling can be then applied to enhance the experience as long as it doesn’t get in its way.

There’s a reason why the most successful internet companies have fairly utilitarian design — take Facebook, Google or Amazon as an example. The focus is on creating a fantastic experience that delights users and adds value.

Instagram’s design is utilitarian and is way less “sexier” that Path’s. However, Instagram made taking and sharing photos so easy and delightful and that was enough.

Source: User Experience and the Poison on the Tip of the Arrow

Path is an app that demos very well, but is not super efficient for regular users. The trouble with shock and awe, is that it only works once. Clear (the todo app) is another one that is similar.

Contrast with Instapaper, TweetBot and even AlienBlue. Less sexy, but awesome apps if you use them regularly.

What's interesting to me is that Apple, Twitter, and Reddit did not develop those respective apps, nor did Facebook develop Instagram.

So conventional wisdom is right: It's really hard to design a great mobile app.

Meanwhile, Path raised $40 million:

With that kind of money they could buy Instagram, TweetBot, AND AlienBlue.

I just signed up. I'd love to hear peoples opinions on Path. Useful? How does it compare to Facebook's mobile app and Fousquare?

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