I’ve recently been reading the book Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold. It’s an excellent book that you should read if you have any interest in cocktails. In the first section of the book, he has a set of principles that he applies to making cocktails that I’ve slightly adapted for technology and engineering and posted below.

  • Use new techniques and technologies only when they make the application better.
  • Strive to make an amazing application with fewer rather than more components.
  • Don’t expect a user to know how you made an application in order to enjoy it.
  • Gauge success by whether your user keeps using your application, not whether they think the application is “interesting”.
  • Build and follow your tastes.

I like these because they aren’t absolutes but a good set of guidelines to help inform you and shape your direction. It’s a good set of bullet points that I will keep in mind when building new systems.