I stumbled across this interview with the developers of Quicksilver, a nifty little search/launcher utility for Mac OS X. One of the things that makes Quicksilver so cool is the way it can interact with many other apps via a robust plugin system.
When asked about possible future plugins, Rob said the following (edited for clarity):
Some people seem confused about why we aren’t working on a plugin for Sparrow, or Google Chrome. I don’t use those apps, so I have no need for those plugins. End of decision tree.
This made me pause, think a minute, and jot down these two (skewed) definitions:
- Open source software: Building, though probably not designing, something mostly for yourself.
- User experience design: Designing, though probably not building, something specifically for another person.
In an odd sort of way, open source software is the opposite of user experience design.