Things software development teams should know about design

I wrote a quick, unpolished list of things that development teams should know about design (and designers). It’s worth sharing with a larger audience, so here it is:

  1. programmers and managers need to fully embrace design — without “buy-in”, designing is futile (as it’ll never get implemented properly — or, often, implemented at all)
  2. design is an iterative process involving everyone — not just “the designer”
  3. in all stages of the project cycle, design must be present: before, during, and after
  4. design isn’t just eye-candy; functionality is even more important (text/content is part of design too)
  5. designers are full team members (and should be treated as such), not some add-on
  6. design issues should have high priority too (if something is unusable or even sometimes looks unusable, then people can’t use the software)
  7. designers are developers too (in fact, anyone who contributes to making software is a developer — not just programmers)
  8. good software requires design, documentation, project management, community engagement, marketing, etc. — in addition to programming
  9. “usability” != “design”; design is about creating something useful (and/or pretty), whereas usability is discovering how well something works — usability tests are useful to see if a design works, but usability test alone usually won’t point a way to fix issues… design helps fix problems after they’re discovered, and helps to prevent problems in the first place
  10. a lot of designers are quite tech-savvy (especially us designers already in the open source world), but many aren’t — regardless, it’s okay to not know everything (especially about programming corner-cases or project-related esoterica)
  11. think about the people using the software as people using the software, not as “users” (using the term “users” is degrading (similar to “drug ‘users'”) and sets up an “us-versus-them” mentality)

8 Responses to “Things software development teams should know about design”

  1. I think “quality assurance” applies to most of these just as well as “design”.

    On usability, I think it’s important to remember that usefulness = utility × usability. MSDN (of all places) has a good discussion of this: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ff728829#usability_vs._utility

  2. Thanks for another informative web site. Where else may I get that type of information written in such an ideal method? I have a project that I am simply now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  3. Generally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

  4. Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve keep in mind your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I actually like what you’ve got right here, really like what you are saying and the way in which through which you assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is actually a terrific web site.

  5. Hi there, I found your site by the use of Google while looking for a similar topic, your website got here up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked to my favourites|added to bookmarks.

  6. Regretably consider the 63 once I found my very own daughter any “real” couple of Smart Balance Wheel http://www.fashionhoverboard.com, where they decided not to delay and also “imitation” people that are a part of the retail price. I’m nonetheless primed to find a replacement unit combine for those people I saw it to go back for only 2 weeks connected with bring they usually washboard.

  7. Joachim Frieben says:

    Any chance to see your GNOME 3 theme for Firefox release 49 any time soon? Thanks a lot!

  8. Even the perfect This is a pipe Man I gotta get a good job out of

Leave a Reply