What’s wrong with having a good looking interface?

This blogpost comes in respond to a recent comment on our site.

Many people have been condemning the interface of 36-image converter, we thought this was the result of the 36IC 4.4 interface “Twilight” which some people were unable to see because their screen contrast settings were too low. But there are still people complaining.

Now on many tweak sites in software reviews you find everybody asking how they can turn off the eyecandy of a certain application. Of course you can use this sometimes to tweak the performance of an application and make it a few percents faster and lighter, but 36-image converter is different. In 36IC the eye-candy is the default interface, it can’t be turned off or you will get a black window. 36IC uses directX to display its interface and the effects, just like Windows Vista and this can’t be turned off and still people want to turn it off. If 36IC would have a normal windows 98-style interface, it won’t be any faster and it won’t be any lighter since DirectX would also be needed to display these, since 36IC doesn’t use the windows controls.

36IC has a quite unusual interface as well. Most windows apps consist out of a Toolbar with some controls to the side. 36IC has an upper toolbar with a few large icons to toggle the toolbars below which display controls which would normally come to the right. Is this too difficult? Or am I right that windows users are scared of image editors that look any different than paint?
CNET has praised us in a review for having an interface that doesn’t copycats Photoshop’s, so why can’t other people?

Recently I started development for Mac OSX and iPhone OS and I must say that it’s very different, even the attitude of the users is different. For the first time I’m appreciated for making design interfaces. People appreciate free programs tremendously and people are willing to pay for good looking apps. Why is this any different from windows, where people constantly complain that a free app isn’t having the same features as thousand dollars worth of shareware and where people only want to pay for software if it’s either funded by their boss or created by a gaming studio.

I will tell you something, there is nothing wrong with our interface, but only with the views of some windows users. It would be the same as getting a redesigned can of Coca-Cola for free in the streets and starting to yell at the one who’s distributing them that you can’t drink out of something that doesn’t look like the normal Cola bottle and that it sucks because you wanted Fanta.
Be grateful for getting something for free, you guys all act like a bunch of spoiled brats.

To conclude my plee I would like to bring out screenshots of our interface and a default windows interface, what’s the better one?

36IC interface

36IC interface

Paint Interface

Paint Interface


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