Style Over Substance

Hmm. Yeah – style over substance.

At school I was the first person to have non-black football boots.  I had a pair of Asics ones that were blue.  They were amazing.  I then got some cream Puma King from a shop in Malta which I think were possible fake because they didn’t look quite as cool after a few games when the colour flaked off.

I’ve moved through a few colours since – champagne, yellow, white, red and bright green.  Now coloured boots are popular, I’ve gone back to black.  Black is always in fashion, right?!

Nowadays football boots are knitted and come with collars that cover the ankle.  There are also some that don’t have laces.

Sunday League Football, not known for being cultured, largely frowns upon such style.  Wearers of such boots are identified and targeted.  They’re seen as show ponies who have set themselves a bar to live up to simply because of their footwear.  Style over substance.

I had the same issue when I was doing archery properly and got my first really good bow.  I always used to say that the hardest thing about having great equipment was that the only thing I could then blame was myself!  Good kit does help in this sport, but it also gives you something to live up to.  Another turn of phrase – “all the gear, no idea”.

The truth is, though, sometimes style does matter, and it’s one of the hardest things to quantify.

At the event I went to last Friday, I listened to and thought about a lot of presentations about user interfaces and the benefits of nice ones.  One of the presenters spoke of an example with one company where he took a process that took 3 minutes and used 12 different screens on the computer, and made it one screen that took under 30 seconds to complete.

That’s an easy enough sell if you know that to start with and are encouraged to do it.  The barrier I seem to face when you talk about interfaces is that they’re seen as being superficial rather than functional because people just think about colours and fonts.  Being stylish is an add on or a nice to have.

It’s an interesting line of thought for me.  Most things have to be functional, and sometimes I think that being stylish serves a far greater purpose than simply looking good.

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