Incentives: User Interfaces

The software / web community tries to put a lot of effort into good user interface design. In theory, it’s because we want our programs to be easy to use, which increases traffic, usage, etc. We write interfaces mostly for non-programmers. Consider what would happen if our user interfaces sucked: you’d find it more worthwhile to do it yourself. This would plump the industry with more designers (and programmers, and product managers…), reducing demand for our skills. Laborers within the tech industry, thus, have a perverse incentive to keep its users tech-illiterate.

This hardly applies only to programmers: within any industry, if those in the industry suck, new entrants will find it easier to compete and make a living, so it’s within every actor’s best interest to deliver the best products and services possible so as to dissuade new entrants from competing.


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