A great big KISS

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

As I sit here hacking away on Curio 7 (again, set for release much later this year) I ran across an issue I thought I'd share with the world.

The #1 primary goal of Curio 7 is KISS. That is, Keep It Simple Stupid. That comment is aimed at me... not you guys, of course.

Or, a less severe way of phrasing it: is it as intuitive as the iPad?

The iPad is beautifully simplistic. Incredibly intuitive. Wonderfully.... (I'll stop there... I know you've heard it all before...)

If you've been working on Curio for 8 years (wow! can that be true?) then sometimes you forget to look at things anew and see if there's a more intuitive way to handle it.

On some issues I'm stepping back and saying "would my Mom know what to do here?". And, I'll be honest, the answer is generally "good grief, no".

So, we're putting on some iPad-colored glasses to look at Curio on the Mac for the first time and asking how can we make this better?

This will of course be an ongoing task over every revision of Curio but Curio 7 tackles some of the top issues.

Over the past several weeks I've been coding up a much more intuitive way to do something in Curio. It was a pretty big task and I finally finished it two weeks ago.

You know when you finish a long task, you really just want to let it be done? Sometimes coding is like that. Heck, it's always like that.

But, as I've been documenting the feature, I've caught myself more than once saying "wait a sec" and breaking back into Xcode for minor fine tuning.

Then, 5 days ago, I ran across an interaction that wasn't intuitive. And, sadly, the fix wouldn't be a quick tweak.

Arg! I'm soooo ready to move off this feature!

I caught myself thinking the worst things possible: "Uh, they can just do it the older less-intuitive way instead". "They'll figure it out." "They'll find the solution in the manual."

Plop down on the floor. Stare at the ceiling. Kick myself for not thinking about my Mom. Kick myself for knowing Steve J. wouldn't allow such behavior. And I certainly won't get a KISS for my dour thoughts.

Geez, and Mother's Day is coming up, isn't it? That's gotta be a sign...

So, yessiree, I promptly broke open the code.

Just finished it 5 minutes ago and I love it. :-)