Ant Pruitt on Tech: Don’t Make Me Choose Between Coding and Design!

Coding and design. Too many tech products are great at one but rotten at the other. Our Ant Pruitt’s had enough of this. Here’s why. — There’s a huge disconnect between coding and design these days. Either the design is great and the coding and functionality are a fail. Or it’s the reverse. Great functionality, hideous design.

Take the Hisense Pulse. The design? Great. But the functionality is uneven. The main issue in this case is the Hisense Pulse remote.

The Hisense Pulse remote feels great in your hand, sure. The track pad used to control the on-screen mouse works well, too. But try using it in the dark.

There’s no back light to let you see what keys or buttons you’re trying to press. And there are too many keys and buttons, too.

It’s a fairly-simple mistake, but it’s one that matters a ton in the end. Who ever heard of a remote you can’t use in the dark? And why hasn’t Hisense had the sense to fix this yet?

And then there’s smartphones. I’ve previously mentioned my smartphone fatigue — based around the fact that almost all manufacturers these days are designing phones with the same specs, part numbers and so on. It’s Snapdragon this. Thirty-two gigs that. Smartphones perform fairly closely when you compare them end to end.

Then you get into the design and functionality of the software.

You either love it or hate it. Samsung’s Touchwiz, HTC’s Sense UI and Apple iOS all deliver different user experiences. And they definitely aren’t created equal.

Another anachronism: The HTC One line of phones are beautifully designed, yet HTC is in trouble as a company.

And then there’s Apple. Apple iOS devices have a simple, elegant look and feel. It’s almost idiot proof in functionality. Apple got the tech right. And, even speaking from my point of view as a satisfied Android user, I still maintain that Apple got it right with its multiple iterations of iOS.

Apple iOS does look more like Android today, but that is almost beside the point.

Sometimes you can enjoy a product where the relationship between design and coding is even. For instance, I enjoy using my GoogleTV set top boxes. The idea is great. But I find the execution to be lacking.


 Image credit: Ant Pruitt for

So now the question is this: What do we as consumers do with the problem of great design and awful code — or vice versa?

What can be done to get through to the manufacturers and developers of the world? Lucky for me, I have my soapbox at a tech media outlet — aNewDomain. Not everyone has that. And most folks get lost in the noise of user forums.

People need to speak up in a loud and organized way through the social net or otherwise. Lead designers, engineers and the execs to whom the leads report need to know real issues you have — so they can fix them rapidly.

You pay big bucks for your tech. It should be the best a company can possibly offer. Not just the best a company can get away with at a certain price tag. That’s where mediocrity lies.

The future of tech absolutely depends on the symbiotic relationship between design and functionality.

Users like you deserve more consistency on both fronts. Speak up. Let your voice be heard. And contact me or anyone at aNewDomain if you have issues that companies just won’t address. We’ll try to help you get to the bottom of it.

If this column does nothing else but get people motivated — and get a backlight on the Hisense Pulse remote so we can use it in the dark — I’ve done my job for today.

For aNewDomain, I’m Ant Pruitt.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and on Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on by following this link.