Richard MacManus writes about what Joel Spolsky had to say:
In his Webstock presentation, Spolsky produced “The Formula” for great products:
* Make people happy — i.e. put people/users in control of a product
* Think about emotions — very funny example of cupholders in SVWs (too hard to explain, but wait for the webcast/podcast!)
* Obsess over aesthetics — Joel used the example of the iPod’s “style over comfort”; for example you can’t change the battery in an iPod, so it fails miserably in usability there. Joel called this the “French idea of fashion” and wondered if Steve Jobs is actually French.
In summary, Spolsky thinks “the world is monumentally superficial”, which is reflected as much in Web products as in Hollywood celebrities. He said that if products are usable/useful and reveal true functionality, then they are “honest”.