Beautiful (How to Kill Through Jargon)

by Ben Perreira

I really enjoy reading about new technology. I have worked for startups and currently do marketing strategy for a mobile carrier. I stay up on trends because I have to and want to. It is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic industries today.

Techies are notoriously nerdy and fall deeply in love with their products. As such, they also hate certain products in the same way some people hate their ex’s. The passion is pure.  

There is one word, however, that kills the credibility of a techie: beautiful. (Your favorite tech blog has countless examples.)

My objection with “beautiful” is simple. It is meant to be ironic, I hope, but it is trite and cliche. It is overly convenient when other descriptors would suffice: ergonomic, seamless, intuitive, or simply functional.

Just as a standard for good design is when nothing can be taken out (see previous post), good product descriptions require disambiguation. If “beautiful” can be used for iPhones, Nexus tablet components, mobile apps and desktops, it is too vague. 

If technologists want to expand their influence by incorporating a wider swath of people, they would be well served to speak to them in more descriptive, less insider terms.

Please. Anything but “beautiful.”