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5 guidelines for smart software design


Charles Seybold is CEO and Co-Founder of LiquidPlanner has written short and to-the-point guidelines:

  1. Old Designers Argue Late in the Process – Not Early
    – it is better to have as many ideas on the table as possible during the investigation phase. This leaves a field broad enough to provide room for innovation
  2. Design is Messy and Imperfect ─ Deal with It
    – design is difficult… because user expectations keep evolving… because design involves style – and style is always changing…
  3. You’re Not as Hot as You Think You Are
    – good artists borrow, great artists steal. Designers who ignore these realities are just plain dumb
  4. A Writer is Somebody who Writes Every Day – The Same Goes for Designers
    – embrace the idea of continuous improvement; circle back to your designs and look for opportunities to improve them ─ even if nobody asks you to
  5. Consensus is Everything / Consensus is Over-Rated
    – users favor less complexity, Developers favor less code, Marketers favor less time

And to sum up:

Consistently great software design is created with a great process – not a lucky string of inspirations. That process should be very rapid and based on short cycles. The leader must have no fear in developing a deep understanding of the customer’s relationship with the product; the rest as they say is just “making the bread.”

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