I am currently about half way through the re-development of an old Notes Application and a thought suddenly occurs why do we let the users get involved. 3:23 on Friday afternoon I have the main user, the IT customer liaison type person, another developer and I stood round my desk arguing over the design.
Now there are 2 things wrong with this picture,
1. How did I let them get into an argument at my desk at 3:23 on a Friday afternoon, when I want to go at 3:30.
2. I don't give a stuff what the shade of orange is.
Yes we are arguing colors!!! Now I am a developer, I create code, I am not artistic, I have no thoughts on colors, shades etc. My wife will testify to that!!!
However I will say that at least they were arguing about the orange, which hopefully means that the argument about the shade of blue is over. We had to change the form/menu colors 3 times on that one.
Whilst I agree that the aesthetics are important, it's not something I really care about, I will talk to the user and tell them to talk to our graphics department to knock something up and then we go with that. This has worked well in the past and I feel has led to some top knotch looking apps, but this is the first time where the main user is female. Ok beat me about the head, I'm not being sexist (well okay it's probably a little bit) but it's a fact, every other time we get the stuff from graphics, we neanderthals gather in a meeting room, grunt over the layout and that's it. End of subject we design, build the interface and just get on with it.
This time round we have had 6 different logo styles, 5 different color combos, 3 different splash screens from 2 separate color schemes. And my biggest complaint, they keep asking for my opinion, come on I'm a man, I can't even have an opinion about paint for re-decorating or carpet colors. Why on earth would have an opinion about shades of orange!!!