2001/10/14

Not-Invented-Here

“When you’re working on a really, really good team with great programmers, everybody else’s code, frankly, is bug-infested garbage, and nobody else knows how to ship on time.”

In Defense of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome

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Underline Edit Boxes

I like to make fun of designers who reinvent common widgets simply because they can. The big advantage of using a standard HTML edit box is consistency — more people will recognize it and know how to use it.

But when you have a long form with many fields, all those lines start to look ugly, so I’ve gotten into the bad habit of using style sheets so that my edit boxes are just underlines, not boxes. This is “consistent” more with paper forms, and someone even told me he thought he was going to have to print out the page when he saw the beta application form using underlines. 

It probably does reduce learnability, marginally, to use underlines for edit boxes instead of boxes. But then again, they’re really cool looking 🙂 and I can’t bear to switch them back to boxes. What’s your opinion?

About the author.

I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.