I love fast software. That is, software speedy both in function
and interface. Software with minimal to no lag between wanting to
activate or manipulate something and the thing happening.
Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good
tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not
necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most
valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the
difference between an application smoothly integrating into your
life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in
software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile
without necessarily knowing why.
I love this essay so much I wish I could kiss it. One of the confounding aspects of software today is that our computers are literally hundreds — maybe even a thousand — times faster than the ones we used 20 years ago, but some simple tasks take longer now than they did then. Opening the Web Export dialog in Photoshop, for example.