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Sweating the Details

My wife gave me the Steve Jobs biography for Christmas, and I read it throughout the next several weeks. Two things struck me about Steve Jobs. The first was that he was not a pleasant person. I kept hoping that Walter Isaacson would report that Steve mellowed out over the course of his life and started treating people as they deserved. That didn’t happen, and it disappointed me.

The second thing that struck me was how much Steve sweated the details. Every little detail had to be just right. Insanely great. The exact colour of beige used for the computer case. The perfectly fitted edges. The lack of (or at least minimal use of) screws. The control of the product from hardware to software and everything that entails. This has prompted me to take a look at my own attention to detail, and while I believe that Steve Jobs’ level of passion in this regard is not something I necessarily have to emulate, I think that I’ve been cutting the corners a bit too much in my work.

My oldest iPhone app that I have on the store, Crate 33, isn’t bad, but I know of a few areas that need improvement that I’ll be addressing. These include the terrible name and icon. I did a much better job on my second app, iBorrow. I’m quite proud of it. But I can think of at least one button that needs some TLC, and one function that should be removed. I’ve also started work on my next app, and I’m trying to make it even better. Since I’m not a graphic or UX designer by any stretch of the imagination, and I can’t afford to hire one, making the app look perfect is quite problematic. I’m learning, however, and I hope that I can come up with something really nice.

I really appreciate the polish and detail that my favourite apps have, and I’m going to strive much harder to do that in the iPhone work I do every day.

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