Who would have thought that I would be finding inspiration and a message I believe in at Xero, an Accounting Software Blog site?
Matt Vickers, designer/developer, blogs three ideas that I have found to be true as I have worked for and with companies over the last 20 years or so.
1) Applying skins, themes and visual treatments to software is not design.
Slapping lipstick on the pig only makes the pig more appealing at first glance, but it quickly turns to bacon grease when you try to use a poorly designed software application.
2) Inspiration is seen not heard.
People can't tell you what they need. You have to figure out how the current process forces them to compensate for bad software by watching what it takes for them to get their goals accomplished when using the product, software or technology.
3) User stories need to be engaging and tellable.
The scenarios you capture have to eloquently capture user needs and be detailed enough to know when or which of your design ideas will fulfill them.