John Gruber just posted a long review of BBEdit 8.

John’s articles are always very well written, but his thoughts on user interface are especially interesting for programmers:

From the perspective of users, however, the importance of the user interface is profound. For users, the application is what they can see, click, and interact with. A user’s relationship with an application is perceptual, sensual.

The raw capabilities of a particular application are, for most users, irrelevant; it’s the usability that matters. Features which aren’t presented via an intuitive, discoverable, usable interface might as well not even exist.

I won’t dispute that BBEdit’s interface is relatively unadorned; but so while it’s not pretty, it isn’t trying to be. Handsome is perhaps more apt. The layout of windows, dialogs, and menus is meticulous and thoughtful. The point is not to impress you; the point is to enable to you get work done.

In fact, it’s very tempting to make a feature list for XRay 2.0′s user interface just by going over John’s points one by one… icon_wink.gif