Pants. I put them on every weekday

UX Designer: Look. I put the gas tank by the rear bumper.

UI Designer: I’m gonna make it brown. With a stripe.

UX Researcher: In testing this exploded, killing everyone.

Project Manager: Is this a show-stopper?

Product Owner: Ship It . . . because of data.

Greek Chorus: No, Oedipus, don’t do it.

No One: I’m suing you because it’s brown.


I’ve spent a lot of hours on the other side of one-way mirrors, both actual and digital. I’ve seen people throw phones, shout, rage quit. I’ve learned new ways of swearing. I’ve seen children cry.


I have never seen someone throw a phone across a room because they hated the color palette. Or because they thought the app was ugly. Or because they hated iOS pickers. Or longed for polished subtle motion graphics. The strong negative reactions are always related to behavior. The app tricked or confused them. Or broke. 


UI matters. It can delight people. But it can’t make up for fundamental defects in UX or execution. Lipstick and pigs and all that. Conversely, great UX that solves a real problem in a simple way can delight people in black and white. But very often, great UX requires great UI. Because great UX often accompanies novelty, either in approach or problem set. Enter UI to provide the subtle hints and nudges to keep users flowing through the UX.


The two-mile caliche road to my ranch is unmarked. No signs, no lines. It doesn’t need it. I’m the intended audience, and I already know every turn and dip. Conversely, I’d be a fine layer of carbon on twisted metal if the insane offramp-across-incoming-traffic system on I-10 east of San Antonio was unmarked.