The experience economy - Chris Dixon
Zach Johnston stashed this in The Future
He almost had me, but I still believe you cannot have great design without great technical skills.
So when he says...
"People who create great experiences will be the most valuable to startups, and startups that create great experiences will be the most valuable to users."
...I still think that's the domain of the tech folks. ;)
Could you go into a bit more detail on:
"He almost had me, but I still believe you cannot have great design without great technical skills."
Design happens at all parts of the stack, not just the front end.
A technical person with a few design skills can out-build a designer with a few technical skills every time.
I disagree - I'm the latter of the two and I've had many cases where design + html/css has nearly completed projects and the heavily technical pieces we're the minority of the work.
I'd say that it always depends on the product. A landing page - mostly design, Google - mostly technical (though maybe you're saying that design is how you build that technical piece)
That is an excellent point, Zach. It does depend on the product.
Having said that, there's a caveat.
Designs can be copied (like Windows ripped off the Macintosh, or the dozens of Pinterest ripoffs) but technology cannot be copied.
So technology affords more sustainable advantage. I'd bet on the long term prospects of Google, but Pinterest I'm not so sure about.
The one thing I really strive to do with my design is look for the subtle things that set apart an experience - one thing we're designing now may even be patented (though I'm not sure that's really necessary) - so that competition may know what your product looks like and how it makes you feel, but they don't know why it makes them feel that way.
Emotion is essential. If you make your users feel, they'll want to come back for more...
I think this is one of the lesser-discussed reasons why FB eats G+'s lunch.
Facebook is very much about "friends" and "liking" while Google Plus has this feeling of clinical cold sterility about it, as if it's more of an antiseptic domain of Platonic forms.
Google+ changed a few weeks ago -- the new website and iPhone app are a lot about "liking" the work of professional photographers, bloggers, and video makers, which is an interesting niche.
I regularly find interesting content there. A lot more interesting content than I find on Facebook, frankly.