Polish, often discussed in relation to craft and quality, plays a crucial role in the design process. This article by Matthew Ström delves into the concept of polish, exploring its nuances in UX. Through a Twitter interaction and personal reflection, the author sheds light on the subtle yet significant aspects of polish that elevate a product’s aesthetic and functionality.

Important Quotes:

Polish is something only the person who creates it will notice. It’s a paradox; polishing something makes it invisible."

"A monk asked a zen master, ‘Does a dog have Buddha-nature?’ The master answered ‘無’. It’s a negation of something, and in the koan’s case, it’s the master’s way of saying there’s no point in answering the question."

"Next time you flip a wall switch or plug something into an outlet, take a second and look at the t..."

Main Arguments:

  • Polish is a subtle quality that may go unnoticed by users but is essential for enhancing overall user experience.

  • The act of polishing something can paradoxically render it invisible, making it a challenging concept to define and discuss overtly.

  • Attention to detail, consistency in design patterns, and the integration of hierarchy and color are key elements of achieving polish in an app or product.


Overall, polish represents the meticulous attention to detail and refinement that distinguishes great design/development from good. While polish may seem intangible, its presence is felt profoundly in the UX of a well-crafted product.