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Better Software magazine feature article

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  • meganole25
    Code Improvement: Create Designs With Curb Appeal By Jeff Grover and Zhon Johansen Well-designed software is a joy to use. However, pages of preliminary
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 1, 2006
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      Code Improvement: Create Designs With Curb Appeal
      By Jeff Grover and Zhon Johansen
      Well-designed software is a joy to use. However, pages of preliminary
      feature descriptions, diagrams, or even brilliant blueprints do not
      add to the joy users feel. What these things do accomplish is giving
      developers the false belief that they know how to create something
      before they've even started. As it turns out, pausing to reflect on a
      design, habitually simplifying the code, sharing and critiquing your
      ideas with others, programming with the big picture in mind, and
      appreciating good design will bring smiles to everyone's faces. We
      value design that brings joy to those who create it and to those who
      use it. Read more:
      http://www.stickyminds.com/BetterSoftware/magazine.asp?fn=cifea
    • William Pietri
      ... Wow, that s a great statement. One of my clients got into agile methods gradually, with a large backlog of product specifications. The specifications were
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 1, 2006
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        meganole25 wrote:
        > What these things do accomplish is giving
        > developers the false belief that they know how to create something
        > before they've even started.

        Wow, that's a great statement.

        One of my clients got into agile methods gradually, with a large backlog
        of product specifications. The specifications were nice as
        specifications go, but I think they caused some trouble on the project.

        Because they had all of these documents, they didn't feel any real need
        for external feedback, so they went for perhaps a year before showing it
        to anybody but the product owner (who was very involved in creating the
        specs in the first place). It was only after they ran off the edge of
        their map that they got around to getting real users.

        Of course, we all know they should have done user testing as they went.
        But because of the specs, they didn't feel any pain from not doing it.
        Now they release their app every 1-3 weeks, and have hired, part time,
        several users to get detailed feedback and more vigorous use. Everybody
        is much happier now that users are more involved. But I wish they had
        done it sooner, and I can't help thinking that they would have had they
        not had all those plans around.


        William
      • Jon Kern
        In this vein (and even the discussion about Tools for photo-realistic wireframe prototyping I have a post:
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 1, 2006
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          In this vein (and even the discussion about "Tools for photo-realistic wireframe prototyping" I have a post:
              http://blogs.compuware.com/cs/blogs/jkern/archive/2006/09/01/matter_of_degree.aspx

          -- jon

          William Pietri said the following on 9/1/2006 11:02 AM:

          meganole25 wrote:
          > What these things do accomplish is giving
          > developers the false belief that they know how to create something
          > before they've even started.

          Wow, that's a great statement.

          One of my clients got into agile methods gradually, with a large backlog
          of product specifications. The specifications were nice as
          specifications go, but I think they caused some trouble on the project.

          Because they had all of these documents, they didn't feel any real need
          for external feedback, so they went for perhaps a year before showing it
          to anybody but the product owner (who was very involved in creating the
          specs in the first place). It was only after they ran off the edge of
          their map that they got around to getting real users.

          Of course, we all know they should have done user testing as they went.
          But because of the specs, they didn't feel any pain from not doing it.
          Now they release their app every 1-3 weeks, and have hired, part time,
          several users to get detailed feedback and more vigorous use. Everybody
          is much happier now that users are more involved. But I wish they had
          done it sooner, and I can't help thinking that they would have had they
          not had all those plans around.

          William

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