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The Importance of Beauty

While the practical aspect of an application is incredibly important, I believe that the presentation is significantly more important. If you can’t display your product to your users in an appealing way, their attention will be drawn to more visually appealing alternatives.


When I build an application, I’m always sure to make the presentation as good as possible before launch. Take, for example, Oak (yes, I know I’m going crazy with posts about this project). Before I posted the project anywhere, I made sure I had an extensive README page with lots of pictures, tables, and formatted text to make reading easier on the eyes. The first thing the reader sees is a nice looking image of example code. While Oak’s features speak for themselves, I don’t think the code is responsible for the project’s success. The key was the presentation. Similarly, I’ve found that other projects that don’t use flashy presentations, don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. Take Vidi, for example. This project is crazy good for a new language made by one person. Not only did he implement a really good looking language, he made an IDE to make development easier.


However, after a launch on Reddit, the project only got 2 stars on GitHub. How is that even possible? The answer is the README isn’t flashy enough. His README consisted of a single image, and two links. That’s it. There’s nothing for the reader to get attached to or excited about.

A project truly suffers without a good README or website. The best way to draw interest isn’t to make a great product. It’s to make a GOOD (at least) product AND to make a great first impression.

Published Aug 10, 2020

Programmer, musician, and graduate student at UTK.