Looking good versus being good.

Pretty things can be useless, and ugly things can be useful. Beauty and quality are not always related.

When making things, we should aim to give equal attention to looking good and being good. If either side of that duality fails, the whole suffers.

As users, we may assume that a good-looking thing will also be useful and well thought-out. But it only takes a minute or two to see if our assumptions are correct. If it isn't good, we'll know.

As sensemakers, we may fall victim to these same assumptions about the relationships between beauty and quality of thought.

Beware of pretty things. Pretty things can lie and hide from reality. Ugly things can too.

If we're going to sort out the messes around us, we need to ask difficult questions and go deeper than how something looks to determine if it's good or not.



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