Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Software Needs Its Own Bauhaus Movement

Brian Prentice from Gartner says Software Needs Its Own Bauhaus Movement:
One of the key perspectives of the Bauhaus movement was a rejection of the superficial ornamentation so commonly found in the arts, crafts and architecture of the 19th century. In its place emerged streamlined, minimalist design forms meant to capture the essence of an objects purpose.

But what happens when functionality becomes superficial ornamentation? By extension, form must also ultimately fail. That is exactly the dilemma facing the software industry.
I like the linking of the Bauhaus movement to what has been happening in some corners of the ICT world. Most people could point to examples such as iPhone, Google Chrome, Pam Pre and Twitter of honed and focussed software.

I think the constraints created by having to deliver to a smaller form factor or a simpler programming model enables a re-thinking of the 'fat client' app. You don't hear terms such as 'bloatware' in these contexts.

It will be interesting to see how thin and focussed Google's just-announced Chrome OS will be.

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