I am a big believer in “the interface”. If one goes back in history, anything that solved a arduous task with a simple interface, did well, very well. You have to not only solve a problem, but provide a simple interface to it. In the last 20 years, the following products provided an interface that changed the expectations of consumers.
It started with Gemstar that simplified recording TV programs on a VCR. Anybody who had to record a TV program using a VCR will vouch for it.
Then we had TiVo that made recording and watching TV very simple. One could watch a program and record another at the same time. I still remember a very happy TiVo customer quoting, “I don’t watch TV anymore I watch recorded TV”.
Next we had Nokia, Google, Apple creating brilliant product with superb interfaces. Nowadays presence on the internet for any business is an imperative. Most user interfaces are poorly designed. This is so widely understood that it’s become a common humor trope. These are poorly designed, because they are designed by programmers and not designers.
I would like everyone who has a website or planning to have one, read the following two articles, which give good insights on website design.
(via The Thinker) Jeffrey Ellis describes various reasons interfaces are poorly designed >>>
Famous quote by Edward Tufte, “Clutter is not an attribute of information, clutter is a failure of design.” To help you clean up your mess if one admits to it, I recommend reading “A guide to visual design for everyone” >>>
Another good read is Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make >>>
In India, I believe Cleartrip is a leader in visual interface and navigation check it out!.