Put Quality Into Your Work

January 17, 2014
3 minute read

I was recently reading this blog article from ZURB about why they decided to drop Zepto from Foundation 5. Foundation, by the way, is a completely free front-end framework for developers and designers. It's also FREE. ZURB puts out Foundation simply for the good of the community. They see no direct compensation for building and maintaining that framework. Sure, they may see some indirect benefits from offering a free framework, but otherwise - it's completely up to them to decide what they want to do with it, how long they want to support it, and what kind of features it has.

So what is their motivation to put this terrific front-end framework out there for anyone to use and download as they please? Well, I'm not going to answer that for you. But what I am going to focus on is the quality with which they put into Foundation. You can see from their blog article that they care about the quality of their product. They noticed that jQuery provided faster performance than the Zepto javascript library they were originally using. So after some deliberation they decided it would be a better product if they dropped Zepto and included jQuery 2.X. Now, this might not seem like that big of a deal - but think about it. They took the time to measure the speed at which their code performed and make adjustments to make it even faster. In my book I call that caring about quality. Did they have to do that? No, not at all. No one is paying them to make their product better. They simply want to put out a quality product - and in doing so, they realize that all the little details that going their products are what make them better.

"From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline."

That quote is from the movie, The Last Samurai. It sums up what the people of Samurai were about. They put quality and perfection into everything they did - no matter how mundane the task was. It's rare to find that kind of commitment to quality in today's world. Think about all the products we use on a daily basis that last for a few weeks before we have to throw them in the trash. Cheap toys from China. Crappy clothes from Wal-Mart. Operating systems from Microsoft. ;) The list goes on.. But the bigger lack of quality is from actual work and communication from people. As smartphones and texting becomes more integrated into our lives, children's grammar and spelling are becoming worse. Most schools have stopped teaching children cursive writing. It seems like there is so much competing for our attention that anything we actually devote half-a-minute to is done with clear disregard for perfection. It's done with the sole purpose of "getting it done".

This mentality lends itself to society thinking it's ok to "just get it done" without regard for how good the product or service truly is. Ever wonder why such good, quality (and expensive) products come from Germany and Switzerland? They put the extra effort in building products out of quality materials, with processes that might take longer - but result in a better, longer lasting products.

I know that sometimes I am a victim to just "getting it done" while disregarding the quality for which a project was built. So while I strive to put perfection and dedication into everything I build, I hope the rest of the world does the same.