Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer
Moderator: Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple
Nick Bradbury, Architect of Client Prods – NewsGator Technologies Inc
John Gruber, Raconteur – Daring Fireball
Shaun Inman, Designer/Dev – haveamint.com
Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple


Rough Notes:
The panel ended up being more about how independent designer/developers work, rather than their design aesthetic – interesting, but not really terribly applicable to me…
indie developers are where the bleeding edge happens. What developer means – changied over time – blurring relationship between designers and developers.
The death of the startup – no longer interested in the IPO – not the driving philosophy. Level playing field for mind share and distribution.
It’s a small world – very easy to find what you need –
pxg site – recruiting tool
Defining design –
– great design speaks to you; it has something to say – the ipod giggle.
– hard to do great design – throwing away 80% of ideas
What are the lessons/rules we can learn from indie developers
Indie – what does it mean?
– not necessarily small; people who are designing for the user rather than the company
– building for themselves
Products are a personal obsession
Inman – Results of a conversation either with people who want the product or people using after it’s built.
Gruber design process starts on paper – new notebook.
Inman – starts with research and learning.
Bradbury – build things twice – write some code, throw it away after learning about it, then start from the beginning.
when he gets stuck – he blogs about the project, and gets feedback that helps him work it out.
Gruber – looks at IM buddy list for help.
Inman – group of friends that give him good feedback and aren’t afraid to tell him when something doesn’t work.
Inman & Gruber – no experience working for a big corp. Bradbury – consultant, which made him want to be independent. because of the filter between himself and the user.
Listen to more fans or haters? – the haters.
Example bands that play live – immediate feedback.
lots of discussion of running an independent shop.

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