All successful products either satsify desires or stave off fears. And all software either saves time, cuts costs, or satiates boredom.

Consider the humble spreadsheet. What was previously scratched out on yellowpads is now calculated instantly. That saves time.

Take more rote line-of-business software. Nowadays sold as a service, this saves hired labor you'd otherwise do manually. That saves money.

Or consider social media and video games. Both "kill time." They keep bored afar.

Which leads to a little hypothesis: is the user interface ever a selling point?

A cursory looks feels like too most companies ignore direct mention of it. People need something done and they need it done now. The UI is only a means to an end.

That's because a lot of software is "good enough". Take any office suite you can buy, whether its from Microsoft, Google, or Zoho. It probably reacts faster than you can type. Would a more elegant user interface be better? Perhaps for some, but unlikely for most.

Smaller, within-reach examples abound. Jason Cohen at Microconf once joked that "once money is coming in the door, you can finally hire a good designer!" Joel Spolsky remarked that designing user interfaces is "straightforward." Patrick McKenzie considered his "breakout hit" Bingo Card Creator to be a glorified random number generator. Yet even it was successful.

But what of Apple? Well, does Apple sell on the elegance of its user interface? Newer Macbooks sing the M1's speed. The bolded titleson the iPhone are the quality of the camera, length of the battery, and beauty of the screen. Any direct mention of iOS, is absent.

Some apps like Bear Notes are famous for their elegant design. Sure, the interface is important here but there's only one direct mention of it. Instead it focuses on the value you extract from the software (e.g. "distraction free writing").

Your software provides value not because of its good design but because it saves time, cuts cost, or satiates boredom. Focus on the value provided and sell there. This is what customers want.