Emily Chang just posted a fantastic article on the design philosophies of some “web 2.0” companies:
“Itâ€™s taken a while to free web and UI design from the bonds of graphic design emulation (early 1990â€™s) or the web as self-contained animation (late 1990â€™s flash). Blogs, CSS, web standards, content management systems, and the cry of â€œusability!â€ finally put a stake in these paradigms (early 2000â€™s), but they also introduced something else that could have been just as blasÃ© – the template. Luckily, user experience, long accepted in other industries, came into the web scene and gave design decisions a social and anthropological basis for understanding how subtle shifts could help or hinder a user.”
I believe the 9rules Design Philosophy™ would be: never settle. Never settle on one widget if you could be doing it a little bit better. Never settle on your features or functionality if you could be providing better features and more useful functionality. Never settle on something you don’t think is 100% perfect, because having one thing that’s not 100% will knock the rest of your stuff down accordingly. Never settle with being a follower when you can be a leader and an innovator. Never settle with “good enough” because “good enough” is never a competitive advantage, it’s a handicap. Never settle with doing things like everybody else, because if everybody is doing something then there’s no way to differentiate yourself and move ahead of the pack.