Obviously this is a big “it depends”, but the main point is to focus on the relationship between user control and user capability. As user capability (knowledge, skill, expertise) increases, so should control – at least for a lot of things we make, especially software, and especially when we’re aiming not just for satisfied users but potentially passionate users. The big problem is that we make our beginning users suffer just so our advanced users can tweak and tune their configurations, workflow, and output. [For the record, I’m a big fan of splitting capabilities into different products, or having a really good user-level modes–where you use wizards or simpler interfaces for new users, etc. Yes, they’re often done badly, but they don’t have to be.]


I agree the experience should be good in default settings for 90% of the users. For the 10% that want to tweaks stuff there should be a limited set of settings. Maybe an expert mode.