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1150Re: zooming, porpoising, and goal level

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  • nemrac_z
    Apr 29, 2005

      I also like the idea of design as a problem structuring activity,
      which works well with opportunistic design. We have numerous design
      problems that fall on a continuum of structure. Decisions that we
      make about these problems (which vary in structure) "can lead to
      subsequent decisions at various levels of abstraction". And I connect
      the word abstraction with structure (if thats not too big a leap).

      Much of that (including the quote) is taken from Guindon's Designing
      the Design Process, as well as from Simon (1973) "The structure of
      ill structured problems"; Artificial Intelligence, 4, 14-180.

      What doesn't seem to be continuously emphasized is the idea that
      small/low level/well-structured decisions probably impact big/high
      level/not-as-well-structured decisions. Not just the other
      way around. Cause to me, thats a significant portion of opportunistic


      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Brian Marick <marick@t...>
      > On Apr 28, 2005, at 9:15 AM, Jeff Patton wrote:
      > > Anita used the term zooming. I grabbed at the term porpoising -
      > > to
      > > suggest that that like a porpoise, I spend more time below the
      > > surface, but
      > > keep jumping up to look around, but always land back in the
      > > Given
      > > that looking up and down across goal/abstraction level is so
      > > important, I'm
      > > curious if anyone knows if an author has called attention to, and
      > > named this
      > > activity? Or, is this all pretty obvious, and terms like zooming
      > > good
      > > enough to explain to others what we're doing?
      > I had the impression that was received wisdom these days. Here's a
      > from an article Mike Cohn wrote in the February Better Software:
      > "In 1990, Raymonde Guindon confirmed this by studying a group of
      > designers to whom she posed a problem. She happened to study
      > designers but the implications are equally relevant for software
      > developers. Guindon paid particular attention to whether the
      > were thinking top-down or bottom-up at any moment. She created
      > similar to the ones shown in Figure 1. The light bulbs indicate
      where a
      > designer had an epiphany or breakthrough in his or her thinking. As
      > can see from Figure 1, designers (and programmers) move freely
      > top-down and bottom-up thinking."
      > (Figure 1 shows a very jagged graph, with light bulbs occurring at
      > levels. The draft I'm quoting from doesn't have the references.
      > look for them sometime after I get out of this airport.)
      > -----
      > Brian Marick, independent consultant
      > Mostly on agile methods with a testing slant
      > www.exampler.com, www.testing.com/cgi-bin/blog
      > Book in progress: www.exampler.com/book
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