MojiPage Blog

On Mobile, Worse Is Better

Heard about “less is more” or KISS? Sure! How about Worse is Better?

Worse is Better (WiB) is an approach to software design popularized by Richard Gabriel. It defines some guiding principles for software designers to achieve the right balance between simplicity, correctness, consistency and completeness (in more or less decreasing order of importance.) These are often contending factors in any system, and it’s no different for a mobile platform.

At MojiPage, we strive to be incomplete because everybody’s idea of completeness is different; it’s much better to work towards our users’ rather than our idea of completeness.

Engineers love consistency, because it makes our job easier. But what if consistency costs convenience? I’d say that in mobile, convenience is king! That’s not to say that consistency is not important to the users. When applied to user interface, it affords an easier learning curve and causes less frustration. We strive to be consistent, but apply common sense when in doubt.

Correctness is a given in any software, especially as a platform. Developers and users depend on it, and nobody likes erroneous software. However, WiB says “It is slightly better to be simple than correct.”

We concede with that, because emphasizing on simplicity in our user interface, API, as well as implementation gives us the ability to be agile and to evolve with our users’ needs.

Today, we are one step closer to simplicity bliss. We rolled out a UI refactoring release which makes your MojiPage simpler and more consistent, without sacrificing convenience. All widgets now have the ability to show a brief summary on your profile page. That summary is mostly static, but can be refreshed by the widget whenever it is executed (either periodically in the background, or manually when the full widget is viewed.)

Here’s how it looks like on the iPhone:

Simplified MojiPage Widgets on iPhone

Currently, the only widgets that are using the summary view are: Flickr (showing thumbnails of interesting photos) and RSS reader (showing the latest entry in the feed.) Over the next few days, we will be enabling summary view for other widgets as well.

This new user experience makes MojiPage load a lot faster, giving you a glance of everything that matters. We’re confident that users on GPRS/EDGE network will find it snappier to use.

If you prefer the old all-in-one page, bookmark or click on the link that says “Show all widgets on one page”, and you’ll get the previous interface back.

Try it out, and decide if the new features are better or worse. As usual, we welcome any feedback!