In 10 words or less, what is software design to you?

3 Jul 2009 - 11:56pm
5 years ago
21 replies
738 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

arranging code to perform a function on a computer

On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> At the end of a recent interview, the candidate asked me “What is software
> design to you?” I can probably come up with a thousand different answers
> but the one that popped into my mind immediately that day was “*software
> design is making the ordinary extraordinary*.”
>
> Okay, so maybe it won’t get me a mention in Businessweek, but what I was
> trying to capture and communicate was that software design in particular is
> largely about taking unglamorous tools and making them functionally robust
> and efficient, rewarding to use, and aesthetically pleasing. We aren’t
> artists, but we are creatives. We aren’t rocket scientists, but we’re
> smart
> and talented. And every day we have to use our creativity, smarts and
> talent
> to design the best tools for people to use.
>
> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to you?*
> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>
> (would love to get comments on my post about his so that I can collect them
> all in one place):
>
> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/07/03/in-10-words-or-less-what-is-software-design-to-you/
>
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

Comments

4 Jul 2009 - 7:54am
Jared M. Spool
2003

Exactly. Why is the word "software" in the question? Does hardware
design just keep the ordinary ordinary? Does service design insist on
making the ordinary into something horrific?

It feels, from your description, that you want to make this your entry
for IxDA's What-Is-Design Semantics Debate contest, but the word
"software" threw me.

Jared

On Jul 4, 2009, at 12:56 AM, mark schraad wrote:

> arranging code to perform a function on a computer
>
>
> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Russell Wilson
> <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> At the end of a recent interview, the candidate asked me “What is
>> software
>> design to you?” I can probably come up with a thousand different
>> answers
>> but the one that popped into my mind immediately that day was
>> “*software
>> design is making the ordinary extraordinary*.”
>>
>> Okay, so maybe it won’t get me a mention in Businessweek, but what
>> I was
>> trying to capture and communicate was that software design in
>> particular is
>> largely about taking unglamorous tools and making them functionally
>> robust
>> and efficient, rewarding to use, and aesthetically pleasing. We
>> aren’t
>> artists, but we are creatives. We aren’t rocket scientists, but
>> we’re
>> smart
>> and talented. And every day we have to use our creativity, smarts and
>> talent
>> to design the best tools for people to use.
>>
>> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to
>> you?*
>> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>>
>> (would love to get comments on my post about his so that I can
>> collect them
>> all in one place):
>>
>> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/07/03/in-10-words-or-less-what-is-software-design-to-you/
>>
>>
>>
>> --------
>> Russell Wilson
>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

4 Jul 2009 - 9:01am
russwilson
2005

Jared's additions make my definition so much better!

I specified software for 2 reasons:
1) that's how the question was worded to me
2) I don't feel qualified to define design beyond software design

As for my choice - we aren't designing Ferrari's... we are designing tools
for people to
buy children's clothing and calculate their taxes. Hence the "ordinary"...

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

> Exactly. Why is the word "software" in the question? Does hardware design
> just keep the ordinary ordinary? Does service design insist on making the
> ordinary into something horrific?
>
> It feels, from your description, that you want to make this your entry for
> IxDA's What-Is-Design Semantics Debate contest, but the word "software"
> threw me.
>
> Jared
>
>
> On Jul 4, 2009, at 12:56 AM, mark schraad wrote:
>
> arranging code to perform a function on a computer
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com
>> >wrote:
>>
>> At the end of a recent interview, the candidate asked me “What is
>>> software
>>> design to you?” I can probably come up with a thousand different answers
>>> but the one that popped into my mind immediately that day was “*software
>>> design is making the ordinary extraordinary*.”
>>>
>>> Okay, so maybe it won’t get me a mention in Businessweek, but what I was
>>> trying to capture and communicate was that software design in particular
>>> is
>>> largely about taking unglamorous tools and making them functionally
>>> robust
>>> and efficient, rewarding to use, and aesthetically pleasing. We aren’t
>>> artists, but we are creatives. We aren’t rocket scientists, but we’re
>>> smart
>>> and talented. And every day we have to use our creativity, smarts and
>>> talent
>>> to design the best tools for people to use.
>>>
>>> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to you?*
>>> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>>>
>>> (would love to get comments on my post about his so that I can collect
>>> them
>>> all in one place):
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/07/03/in-10-words-or-less-what-is-software-design-to-you/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --------
>>> Russell Wilson
>>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

4 Jul 2009 - 2:48pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Hello Russell,

Just for fun here is my 10-word describing software design.

Creating
quality
code
that
drives
useful
usable
engaging
user
interfaces

Chauncey

On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Russell Wilson<russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Jared's additions make my definition so much better!
>
> I specified software for 2 reasons:
> 1) that's how the question was worded to me
> 2) I don't feel qualified to define design beyond software design
>
> As for my choice - we aren't designing Ferrari's... we are designing tools
> for people to
> buy children's clothing and calculate their taxes.  Hence the "ordinary"...
>
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>
>
> On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:
>
>> Exactly. Why is the word "software" in the question? Does hardware design
>> just keep the ordinary ordinary? Does service design insist on making the
>> ordinary into something horrific?
>>
>> It feels, from your description, that you want to make this your entry for
>> IxDA's What-Is-Design Semantics Debate contest, but the word "software"
>> threw me.
>>
>> Jared
>>
>>
>> On Jul 4, 2009, at 12:56 AM, mark schraad wrote:
>>
>>  arranging code to perform a function on a computer
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com
>>> >wrote:
>>>
>>>  At the end of a recent interview, the candidate asked me “What is
>>>> software
>>>> design to you?”  I can probably come up with a thousand different answers
>>>> but the one that popped into my mind immediately that day was “*software
>>>> design is making the ordinary extraordinary*.”
>>>>
>>>> Okay, so maybe it won’t get me a mention in Businessweek, but what I was
>>>> trying to capture and communicate was that software design in particular
>>>> is
>>>> largely about taking unglamorous tools and making them functionally
>>>> robust
>>>> and efficient, rewarding to use, and aesthetically pleasing.  We aren’t
>>>> artists, but we are creatives.  We aren’t rocket scientists, but we’re
>>>> smart
>>>> and talented. And every day we have to use our creativity, smarts and
>>>> talent
>>>> to design the best tools for people to use.
>>>>
>>>> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to you?*
>>>> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>>>>
>>>> (would love to get comments on my post about his so that I can collect
>>>> them
>>>> all in one place):
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/07/03/in-10-words-or-less-what-is-software-design-to-you/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --------
>>>> Russell Wilson
>>>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>>>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>>>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>>
>>>>  ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

4 Jul 2009 - 3:21pm
stauciuc
2006

Wait, wasn't that 'Experience Design' (or something)? I'm confused :)

>
> Taking Chauncey's entry (minus the poetic linefeeds), "Creating quality
> code that drives useful usable engaging user interfaces," and tightening it
> a bit, why not just say, "Creating great experiences for our customers and
> their users"?
>
> Jared
>
>
Sebi
--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/
http://lookingatdesigns.wordpress.com/

4 Jul 2009 - 3:23pm
russwilson
2005

Jared,

I currently lead the design of network performance mgt software applications
at my company. I have also designed countless applications in the past that
have nothing to do with network perf mgt. And I have designed several
websites for small businesses.

But what does that have to do with anything??? This has nothing to do with
the company I work for. And why are you so hung up on the word "software"?
Do you think what you do is exactly the same as what an automotive designer
does? Do you think there are any distinctions?

I don't need an elevator pitch nor a cocktail party one-liner (although I do
like your scenario). I'm really interested in how people in our field of
design characterize what they do.

That's all Jared... I promise... :-)

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM, Jared Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
> On Jul 4, 2009, at 10:01 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:
>
> Jared's additions make my definition so much better!
>>
>> I specified software for 2 reasons:
>> 1) that's how the question was worded to me
>> 2) I don't feel qualified to define design beyond software design
>>
>> As for my choice - we aren't designing Ferrari's... we are designing tools
>> for people to
>> buy children's clothing and calculate their taxes. Hence the
>> "ordinary"...
>>
>
> I'm really confused. Because if this is for NetQoS, from the company web
> site, it doesn't like you're designing any tools for buying clothing or
> calculating taxes. It looks like the company makes network performance
> monitoring and analysis tools. (The big clue was "Network Performance
> Management" on the home page.)
>
> If you're talking about downstream users, many generations away from your
> product, then you are designing Ferraris as much as you're selling clothing.
>
> Which is why I'm confused by the inclusion of "software".
>
> It sounds like you're trying to create some sort of tag line or elevator
> pitch.
>
> Scene: Cocktail party
> Her: So, cutie, what do *you* do?
> You: I make the ordinary extraordinary.
> Her: ooooh. Can you make some of my ordinary a little extraordinary?
> You: Um, I should go see what my wife, who I love very much, is doing right
> now... [scampers quickly to the kitchen, sweat beating from his brow.]
>
> Taking Chauncey's entry (minus the poetic linefeeds), "Creating quality
> code that drives useful usable engaging user interfaces," and tightening it
> a bit, why not just say, "Creating great experiences for our customers and
> their users"?
>
> Jared
>
>
>

4 Jul 2009 - 4:36pm
Fredrik Matheson
2005

While it certainly is interesting to share snapshots of our individual
vantage points, I doubt it makes me a better interaction designer.
I'd much rather be tutored by the many masters on our list, but that's hard
when we're spread across different time zones.

One of my colleagues recently began giving screencast tutorials on
photography. You send him your picture with your cropping and adjustments,
he takes your original image and works on it, commenting as he goes along.
Link: http://bit.ly/Z0p3t

What's your take? Is this an approach worth looking at, or is there too much
that separates photography from interaction design for this to be
transferable? I think it can be done.

- Fredrik

[Please note that I am *only* talking about interaction design here, not
domain modeling, competitive intelligence, user experience strategies etc –
just interaction design and nothing else.]

4 Jul 2009 - 5:28pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Do you think what you do is exactly the same as what an automotive designer
> does?

I certainly hope not. Jared's not a designer. ;)

Software design, despite that I call occasionally call myself a "software
designer" for its conversation-killing effects, is the art of designing
systems. User Experience professionals don't design software, per se, they
influence behavior and experiences. The software is just the object in that
equation.

-r-

4 Jul 2009 - 6:53pm
Jarod Tang
2007

Make it for people ( than for computer).

On 7/4/09, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> At the end of a recent interview, the candidate asked me “What is software
> design to you?” I can probably come up with a thousand different answers
> but the one that popped into my mind immediately that day was “*software
> design is making the ordinary extraordinary*.”
>
> Okay, so maybe it won’t get me a mention in Businessweek, but what I was
> trying to capture and communicate was that software design in particular is
> largely about taking unglamorous tools and making them functionally robust
> and efficient, rewarding to use, and aesthetically pleasing. We aren’t
> artists, but we are creatives. We aren’t rocket scientists, but we’re smart
> and talented. And every day we have to use our creativity, smarts and talent
> to design the best tools for people to use.
>
> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to you?*
> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>
> (would love to get comments on my post about his so that I can collect them
> all in one place):
> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/07/03/in-10-words-or-less-what-is-software-design-to-you/
>
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Sent from my mobile device

http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

4 Jul 2009 - 11:32pm
russwilson
2005

> Therefore, Marc's answer of "arranging code to perform a function on a
> computer" is the best answer I've seen so far, but my sense is that it
> wasn't what you were looking for.

But it was! I'm just interested in what people's answers are to the
question - no restrictions.

I do think there are differences between design disciplines, but that's a
longer discussion...

4 Jul 2009 - 11:42pm
russwilson
2005

> "...making the ordinary extraordinary" seems very generic to me, whereas
> "software design" seems fairly specific. (I hang out, because of my son's
> profession, with a lot of magicians and special effects artists these days.
> Those guys think they've cornered the market on 'making the ordinary
> extraordinary'. And I find it hard to believe that Ferrari's designers don't
> think they are 'making the ordinary extraordinary.' Likewise, there ain't
> nothing ordinary about this $2.1m Bugatti: http://is.gd/1nB3s )
>

Well I never said it was the best answer - it literally popped out of my
mouth on the spot when asked the question.
BUT, it does capture something - that at the end of the day, we're not
design luxury items; we're not really creating works of art (maybe, but
rarely). We're building tools for people to do stuff. And of course we're
trying to make those tools the best they can be. We want people to be
attached to them (like I'm attached to me new Silva Alpha
headlamp<http://www.silva.se/en/Products/Mobile-Lighting/Alpha-Intelligent-Light/>...
trust me it rocks!)
We are making the ordinary (e.g. accounting software... talk about blah...
*smile*) extra-ordinary, or as good as it can be.

5 Jul 2009 - 2:50am
Abhay Rautela
2008

In 9 words- Code written to help users accomplish their goal(s) better.

-Abhay
--
Cone Trees- User Research & Design
http://www.conetrees.com
http://www.twitter.com/conetrees
http://www.theuxbookmark.com
http://uxbookclub.org/doku.php?id=new_delhi
http://www.slideshare.net/group/web-accessibility

On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> > "...making the ordinary extraordinary" seems very generic to me, whereas
> > "software design" seems fairly specific. (I hang out, because of my
> son's
> > profession, with a lot of magicians and special effects artists these
> days.
> > Those guys think they've cornered the market on 'making the ordinary
> > extraordinary'. And I find it hard to believe that Ferrari's designers
> don't
> > think they are 'making the ordinary extraordinary.' Likewise, there ain't
> > nothing ordinary about this $2.1m Bugatti: http://is.gd/1nB3s )
> >
>
> Well I never said it was the best answer - it literally popped out of my
> mouth on the spot when asked the question.
> BUT, it does capture something - that at the end of the day, we're not
> design luxury items; we're not really creating works of art (maybe, but
> rarely). We're building tools for people to do stuff. And of course we're
> trying to make those tools the best they can be. We want people to be
> attached to them (like I'm attached to me new Silva Alpha
> headlamp<
> http://www.silva.se/en/Products/Mobile-Lighting/Alpha-Intelligent-Light/
> >...
> trust me it rocks!)
> We are making the ordinary (e.g. accounting software... talk about blah...
> *smile*) extra-ordinary, or as good as it can be.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jul 2009 - 6:16am
Dave Malouf
2005

Russell, I think there are several issues w/ the question.
1) software design is a double noun where both nouns can't be
defined any further and add value. When reading it people know what
software is, and understand that design in its most simple use as
"plan" is really enough.
2) many people are actually defining what is GOOD software design.
Which is a whole different question.
3) or they are answering what do I do as a software DESIGNER

The context of the story from the candidate implies to me that the
real question is "What is good software design here at your
company?" B/c quite honestly, what is good software design there is
going to be different elsewhere. There is always going to be some
outlier situation per Fredrick's comment where the POV of personal
practice is going to add a qualifier that doesn't map against
someone else's POV of their practice. Or you get so generic that it
becomes almost meaningless and useless to define.

Now Jared's point is also important:
There is now a continuum between software and hardware and services.
Taking one & focusing on it today at this high a level means that you
are missing too big of the picture, even if you are designing a
widget.

"Code"
since I'm here, I want to take on the use of the word "code". Why?
If "design" is the plan and not the actual implementation why is
"code" in some people's definition. Can't I create a plan to
build something w/o building it. Does an architect weld rivets or do
drywall, or plumbing himself?

Now I do believe that one can put into a plan the rules to establish
what the code should or might be, AND there needs to be a plan for
implementing code, but traditionally this has been called Computer
Science or Software Engineering in my experience (in terms of
practice).

Now, my 10 word attempt: Software Design is the plan for implementing
the User Interface.

Good SD is the above that achieves durability, fit, and desirability.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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5 Jul 2009 - 6:34am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Software design does involve the user interface as well as underlying
code (alogithms that drive the system). There have been surveys of the
percentage of code devoted to the user interface and UI code for many
modern products (ignoring infrastructure perhaps) is quite high, often
over 50%. Many job descriptions call for UI developers and in most
products, software developers do much of the final design.
Interaction designers might hand over detailed specs, but the final
widgets are screen, are mostly the province of software developers.
Even the underlying code can can affect the UI -- I'm thinking about
performance, often one of the top 3-4 usability complaints may be the
direct result of inefficient code that is not UI code, but has
implications for the user's interaction with the product.

So, software design deals both with "underlying code" and user
interface code - sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. The
underlying software architecture can have a profound effect on
interaction design.

Chauncey

>
> It seems there is some misconception about software design going on
> here. Software design isn't concerned with the interface, but code.
>

4 Jul 2009 - 2:39pm
Ron George
2009

Making the complex seemless and simple.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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5 Jul 2009 - 9:01am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jul 5, 2009, at 7:34 AM, Chauncey Wilson wrote:

> So, software design deals both with "underlying code" and user
> interface code - sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. The
> underlying software architecture can have a profound effect on
> interaction design.

Agreed.

However, there's been a separation of late between intent and execution.

While the codebase may be 50% or more of UI, how much of the coders
responsibility was the crafting of the UI and how much of was just
executing a UI that had been crafted in a separate design phase?

Jared

5 Jul 2009 - 10:18pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Software Design
Making software which both works and which you want to use.

Because there's a lot of software out there which technically works
but which is a pain to actually use, and when that's the case, we
usually fault the design.

-- Jim
Via my iPhone

6 Jul 2009 - 5:27am
Alan James Salmoni
2008

I always thought that software design was more the programming side of
things: from architecture down to the algorithm level; not what we do.
It should (ideally, if humans are to be using it) include work that we
do, but there is a load more that is nothing to do with us, unless
we're specifically designing for programmers that is. For example, a
database API won't usually be used by end-users: programmers will
instead put layers of abstraction over it until it ends up as a nice
and usable human-orientated interface (eg, being able to search
through Flickr for photos of a particular subject). We may design the
interface for Flickr, but the software designer working on the
database API has no need to consider what the end users of Flickr
want or need.

(later): Just checked and it is more of a programming field. I would
like to suggest that because it (probably) already has a
well-established definition that we leave it alone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43357

6 Jul 2009 - 9:30am
ambroselittle
2008

On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 11:08 PM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com>wrote:

> *So I’m interested… in 10 words or less, what is software design to you?*
> Enter more than one if you like (as seperate comments).
>

Hi Russell,

Here's mine: Making digital things that work for people.

I'm surprised (not really) at the amount of hullabaloo your question
inspired here.

One thing I wanted to respond to is the impression that software design has
little to do with what interaction designers do. If what you are designing
involves software, it has everything to do with what you do. As much as
possible, you should get the implementation team seeing your vision, and
that vision and common language should be carried through into the formal
code constructs.

Treating these as separate worlds will only create more, unnecessary model
mismatches where there are enough already. You want to reduce the number of
compromises you make due to technical limitations, not increase them, and
one way to do this is through shared vision and language being manifested
down to the concrete technical design level. (See Domain Driven Design for
a popular developer approach to software related to this issue; I think
there is a lot of potential for synergy in that approach.)

I would suggest that software design should be a holistic endeavor that
integrally considers the human, technical, and relational (often, business)
concerns. It's not and us and them but an us together.

-ambrose

6 Jul 2009 - 1:28pm
Riaz
2006

part of a larger system that is often sadly ignored

8 Jul 2009 - 3:11pm
Maxim Soloviev
2007

I would say that software design is process of making "organic" software.
--
Maxim Soloviev

8 Jul 2009 - 3:46pm
Mayur Karnik
2007

what i do for daily bread when i am dreaming iphone / multitouch / minority
report...

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 1:41 AM, Maxim Soloviev <maxim at deast.info> wrote:

> I would say that software design is process of making "organic" software.
> --
> Maxim Soloviev
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