Do Engineers Understand UX documents? (was "AlanCooper on Software...")

31 Oct 2007 - 6:31pm
6 years ago
2 replies
627 reads
Dave Cronin
2005

I guess I have to respectfully disagree with here.

A fully coded prototype of a highly interactive interface can be
incredibly difficult to deconstruct. If there is some complex business
logic underlying the interaction (especially something that learns from
user behavior), it can be quite laborious to understand the underlying
rules at the level of fidelity necessary for creating shipping code.

There is certainly a place for interactive prototypes, but there is also
a place for the well-written sentence.

My experience with engineers is that are they avoid documents that don't
answer their questions or are difficult to navigate and understand.

If a programmer is unwilling to engage with succinct and clearly
articulated documentation (with good use of text & graphics), my
experience is that they have other problems and are sandbagging.

-dave

> David Malouf said:
>
> I have found that the only true artifact a developer
> understands is coded interactive prototype. W/o one there is
> always ambiguity left for "cultural" interpretation.
>

Comments

31 Oct 2007 - 6:40pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Thanx for the chance to clarify, as I'm saying something on a
different list that counters what I said below.

You NEED both. (that's the simple version), but my experience is that
w/o the prototype there is too much ambiguity and to pull from one of
the messages of Alan's article, unpredictability.

In that other thread on SIGIA-L we were discussing how to make Axure
or any other prototyping:documentation tool better and in my mind the
ideal tool heads in the direction where interactive (behavioral)
prototypes intertwine with annotations and data binding schemas.

The discussion then focused on the need for annotations and I stressed
quite strongly that a prototype without annotations is not valuable
enough..

I may not be meeting you all the way here, but I'm not as far away as
my original strong statements that you (respectfully) disagreed with
conveyed.

:)

- dave

<thought>
Let's forget the conference program ... Let's just set up 2 hour
rotating periods where invited and accepted speakers facilitate
discussion on topics that need solving, this is so much more fun!
</thought>

On 10/31/07, Dave Cronin <dave at cooper.com> wrote:
> I guess I have to respectfully disagree with here.
>
> A fully coded prototype of a highly interactive interface can be
> incredibly difficult to deconstruct. If there is some complex business
> logic underlying the interaction (especially something that learns from
> user behavior), it can be quite laborious to understand the underlying
> rules at the level of fidelity necessary for creating shipping code.
>
> There is certainly a place for interactive prototypes, but there is also
> a place for the well-written sentence.
>
> My experience with engineers is that are they avoid documents that don't
> answer their questions or are difficult to navigate and understand.
>
> If a programmer is unwilling to engage with succinct and clearly
> articulated documentation (with good use of text & graphics), my
> experience is that they have other problems and are sandbagging.
>
> -dave
>
> > David Malouf said:
> >
> > I have found that the only true artifact a developer
> > understands is coded interactive prototype. W/o one there is
> > always ambiguity left for "cultural" interpretation.
> >
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

31 Oct 2007 - 6:58pm
SemanticWill
2007

Isn't that what the evenings will be for - only using beer to
facilitate our discussions?

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Oct 31, 2007, at 7:40 PM, "David Malouf" <dave at ixda.org> wrote:

> Thanx for the chance to clarify, as I'm saying something on a
> different list that counters what I said below.
>
> You NEED both. (that's the simple version), but my experience is that
> w/o the prototype there is too much ambiguity and to pull from one of
> the messages of Alan's article, unpredictability.
>
> In that other thread on SIGIA-L we were discussing how to make Axure
> or any other prototyping:documentation tool better and in my mind the
> ideal tool heads in the direction where interactive (behavioral)
> prototypes intertwine with annotations and data binding schemas.
>
> The discussion then focused on the need for annotations and I stressed
> quite strongly that a prototype without annotations is not valuable
> enough..
>
> I may not be meeting you all the way here, but I'm not as far away as
> my original strong statements that you (respectfully) disagreed with
> conveyed.
>
> :)
>
> - dave
>
> <thought>
> Let's forget the conference program ... Let's just set up 2 hour
> rotating periods where invited and accepted speakers facilitate
> discussion on topics that need solving, this is so much more fun!
> </thought>
>
> On 10/31/07, Dave Cronin <dave at cooper.com> wrote:
>> I guess I have to respectfully disagree with here.
>>
>> A fully coded prototype of a highly interactive interface can be
>> incredibly difficult to deconstruct. If there is some complex
>> business
>> logic underlying the interaction (especially something that learns
>> from
>> user behavior), it can be quite laborious to understand the
>> underlying
>> rules at the level of fidelity necessary for creating shipping code.
>>
>> There is certainly a place for interactive prototypes, but there is
>> also
>> a place for the well-written sentence.
>>
>> My experience with engineers is that are they avoid documents that
>> don't
>> answer their questions or are difficult to navigate and understand.
>>
>> If a programmer is unwilling to engage with succinct and clearly
>> articulated documentation (with good use of text & graphics), my
>> experience is that they have other problems and are sandbagging.
>>
>> -dave
>>
>>> David Malouf said:
>>>
>>> I have found that the only true artifact a developer
>>> understands is coded interactive prototype. W/o one there is
>>> always ambiguity left for "cultural" interpretation.
>>>
>>
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
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