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May 15, 2007


Jerome Gouvernel

I am a fan of both Hasso and Apple - but here I must side with Apple. (if only to justify my having bought 4 Apple devices in the last 15 months...although Hasso has indirectly been paying my salary for 15 years)

Hasso may still be remembering the rather unsuccessful “prettification” of the old SAP GUI back in 1999 to the current "MySap" look. This was a skin-deep exercise and never achieved much.

I think Hasso’s analogy is off-base. Apple is not beautiful for the sake of being beautiful, it turns out that it looks good (or can) because it supports elegant solutions and processes.

Windows in fact has many more great-looking “skins” than Mac and yet never looks as clean. Conversely, it is hard either to improve or degrade the Mac look and feel.
Apple has managed to streamline its processes to what is Needed rather than what is Possible. Minimalism is about focusing on Outcomes rather than eliminating Features.

This all smacks of good “use-case”-based development…which is exactly Google’s approach too. Of course all of this was pioneered by Mother Nature first: natural selection + random mutation + 5 billion years = the ultimate UAT workbench … (I am also a Karl Popper fan)

So it is all about purpose. Google is clear about its purpose, much clearer than SAP right now. SAP should look at Apple’s ethos rather than design. The look and feel will take care of itself.

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