Matt Legend Gemmell on Engineer Thinking

Matt Legend Gemmell:

All too often, when faced with a decision about how to implement certain functionality, engineers take the extreme position that:

  1. A feature must be exactly what 100% of users want.
  2. If the above isn’t true (and it almost never is), the feature must be configurable.

This binary approach is gravely wrong, and unjustly offloads decision-making onto the user of the software. We’ve all seen where this approach ends up: multi-row sets of tabs, scrolling panes of checkboxes, nested radio-buttons and a general overload of configuration.

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