Feeling too at home
I am not a great fan of front end design.
Front end design is just that part of software development that makes the user feel at home with your product via the addition of some
UX is quite different
it is the totality of the how you make the user feel while using your product: the totality of the experience. how each button leads to the other, how the pages are connected and how seamlessly information can be located, served and received.
I am not a great fan of UX too, unless I won't be the one doing the work, although, I love optimization of pages: making web pages load faster. It is a logical process that catches my fancy.
But here is the deal: I do a lot of front-end design because I have to and I still make sure I do it well because even though, I am not a great fan of it. I am a fan of it. End-users with alternatives might not take a second glance at a product if it is not looking good on the outside even if it works better than others. More so, your non-technical co-founder will always push for beauty. That is good, they make you feel what an end-user thinks because programmers suck at thinking like the end user. When a programmer builds a product without a "Wait a minute" approach to UX, you should be ready to buy an encyclopedic manual for the product becuase it won't even come with the product. They will assume you should get it.
Above all, I will not place beauty over brains. When your product is beautiful but achieves less. You just messed up badly. For instance, yahoo has always been more sleek, Gmail wasn't as sleek but it works. They made AJAX a standard. The User Experience was out of this world, brought a whole new paradigm to the world of mails and they easily swept yahoo off their "feeling too at home" feet.
Even though, beauty is important, it should never replace functionality, user experience and user-oriented functions. Google knows you more than yahoo and Microsoft. That is very clear in all of their products. Take a good look at CHROME BROWSER, GMAIL, GOOGLE SEARCH, GOOGLE DRIVE, ANDROID and a lot more. They know us more and they used that to their advantage. That is not to say they didn't mess up with some products.
Yahoo's Home Before Google Invaded
I will not say Microsoft or yahoo didn't have that opportunity to be the best , that was just never a priority. Feeling too at home is a big problem in the silicon valley.
They were there before GOOGLE with all the money but somehow, yahoo slacked and Microsoft wasn't smart enough. They were clearly smart with the X-BOX, WINDOWS, the Windows Phone and maybe Nokia but they almost lost the internet game.
I wish Google could overtake Windows in Africa because the reason why people still use Windows in Africa is because they have no choice. Apple is too expensive, LINUX isn't so....(wait a minute, why are people not using Linux). Somehow, WINDOWS just reigns here in Nigeria with all of their nonsense. It sucks to the bone. It sucks so much that it is so clear Microsoft doesn't care. Like they don't care about how we feel with the forceful updates, the frequent OS malfunctions, not making important functionality clearer to use and then making it the worst OS for programming.
Anytime, you have to install new software for a new programming environment, then that is when you know "Microsoft is not your friend and they never plan to be".
I am just going to stop here. I do pray a better company like Google seizes the market from them. I am tired of seeing company with bad products survive like they are the best.