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346: Quality Software

May 13, 2020

This week, we discuss the characteristics of high quality software. We do our best to organize and outline things to pay attention to that will help you ship better software. This, plus a Sidebar discussing how to handle negative feedback from customers, and cool things as always! 

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Latest VIP Patrons:

Huge shoutouts to our latest Very Important Pixels – we crossed 200 this week!

  • Anne Chang
  • Kelsy Michael Gagnebin
  • Fabio Giolito
  • Ker Ning
  • David Pehrson
  • James Lyons
  • Will Hsu
  • Davida Pitts
  • Justyna Papiernik
  • YO Chiyun
  • Jörn Zander
  • Nathan Gross

The Sidebar:

The Sidebar is an exclusive weekly segment for our Patreon supporters. You can subscribe starting at $1 per month for access to full episodes going forward! Sign up at

In this week's Sidebar we discuss four strategies for handling negative feedback from your customers.



  • Hilary agrees: Brain prototypes > wireframes, 99% of the time.
  • Will Hsu isn't a podcast person, but for some reason Design Details stuck. Welcome to the clan!

Listener Question:

  • Kevin Gutowski dropped a question bomb on us this week, digging into the deep and subjective subject: what are the qualities of great design?
    • The Qualities of Great Design is a good video from the 2018 WWDC on this topic that we watched before recording.
    • Corridor Crew made a great vide reacting to bad and great CGi where they point out the details that us mere mortals won't notice, but have an impact on the final product.
    • /r/notmyjob is one of those anti-design details subreddits, and worthy of a skim.
    • Computers are like a bicycle for our minds.
    • The Aesthetic-Usability Effect tells us that "users are more tolerant of minor usability issues when they find an interface visually appealing."
    • Postel's Law tells us to "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send."
    • We tweeted a poll asking what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "quality software." Your answers were great, and thematically centered around: Fast, predictable, reliable, consistent, performant, well-crafted, delightful, hospitable, familiar, and thoughtful.
    • Defining what exactly makes software high quality is hard, but we know it when we see it.

Cool Things:

  • Brian shared Listening Together, a side project from the folks at Spotify the illuminates when two people in the world start playing the same song at the same time. Serendipity!
  • Marshall shared Songland Season 2, his Tuesday evening good-feels after recording the podcast. It's available on NBC/Hulu, if you want to watch along.

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