Like love, great design requires no explanation

For any software, design is crucial to its existence. In this changing era where we find more people tied to desktop computer screen & PDAs than in the park, its time to re-design the experience. The location of visual elements in the UI has a huge impact on how the user interprets information. The closer it is to the user’s thought process, the better experience the user will have. The interface should be intutive. It is always good to expose or display only what is required, and refrain from showing all of the software literature on the user interface. A good design communicates by itself. That’s how its related to human nature, it communicates.
Those who design software are people and those who use software are people; let’s explore the homosapien mind.
I don’t need to know the laws of thermodynamics to use a toaster, or do I?
So next time you design a software, swim in the homosapien mind for a while!

The 209 Becauses

Back again, I just can’t budge… it all depends on how well we understand the requirements. Do not slip into an analysis paralysis mode but make sure you know what you are doing. Nick has provided an exhaustive list which I call ‘The 209 Becauses’. I still need to ram them down my concious, they are worth ramming after all. To start with they are arranged into 5 levels; I figured out there are 3 Level 1’s ->for the Business Stakeholders, Business Analysts & Software developers respectively, 14 Level 2’s, 51 Level 3’s, 93 Level 4’s and 48 Level 5’s.
Did I hear what’s the Problem?
Problem: The requirements for software, as delivered by typical business analysts, is not sufficiently clear, insightful, or well understood to develop software systems that meet the needs of business users.
got to get over it!

The Greater Sum… Let’s Talk!

The value of the ‘Whole’ is greater than the value of parts put together! does that sound paradoxial? But yes, thats very true & logical. “When you combine the ever-growing power of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web, you come up with a sum that is greater than its parts”. When silos break and synergy is established, the possibilities & opportunities explode. SaaS (Software + Services) is all about these possibilities.
Aristotle’s Metaphysics – Unity reconsidered
 1+1 = 11
The Synergism Hypothesis explains the evolutionary imapct. So ready to evolve?
Let’s Talk…

Think Aloud Protocol

Think Aloud Protocol (TAP) – Developed by Clayton Lewis, is a Software testing protocol where the user is allowed to talk or express his/her experience while performing a set of specified tasks. They are asked to say whatever they are looking at, thinking, doing, and feeling as they go about their task. Appears interesting to me, food for thought!  After all usability is what drives software success.
TAP @ wikipedia
Task-Centered User Interface Design (pdf) is a book with a ‘cool’ crucial warning …
“We’ve designed this book to be most useful for people who are actually developing user interfaces. That’s in contrast to the full-time interface professionals who do research and evaluation in large corporations. We strongly believe that effective interactive systems require a commitment and an understanding throughout the entire development process. It just won’t work to build a complete system and then, in the final stages of development, spread the interface over it like peanut butter.”
That was my lesson of the day!

Oslo again…

Models! Models! Models! thats all what matters… I like working with models ( but Canis lupus familiaris  vision – only 2D 🙂 ) & diagrams partly because I have been good at drawing & painting during my school days and also because models make me think, be imaginative and be creative. Creative writing is possible but black & white letters are not my passion. I wonder what “Quadrant” looks like as I haven’t used it but just read about it, I am sure it will be fun working with quadrant. Oslo: That’s SOA platform? or Onion as someone said? Whatever, all techie mojo but I am a dreamer and I love models.

A Metaphor a day, keeps me on my toes

Metaphors or visuals to describe the application is a very powerful technique to avoid catastrophes in software development life cycle. Use as many metaphors as possible so that everyone on the project is aware of the concept, the main intent, the ‘ask’. I myself have used images where I was not able to explain in words or where there was less clarity on the requirement, so I drew it, and asked the customer “Is this what you are looking for? the answer was “yeah, but slight changes here and there”, and there you go. You now know the expectations and better clarity on requirements; you know the entities, rules, interactions, interfaces and flows. Probe the customer, and you’ll realize it was so easy and the soon you will be taking snaps smiling with your customer.
Its surpising to know how easy and efficient the process becomes when the intent is clear, so lets first figure out what is the ‘ask’, and provide a solution for that ‘ask’ and just not provide any solution that we know of.
I love metaphors
a==b==c implies a==c, though a bit of logic needs to be in there.

Trying to change something? Its fun, its a challenge.

I face challenges at workplace trying to bring change, but I realized the trick is communication – communicate, communicate, communicate. If your idea for change is not feasible or just impossible, you’ll instantly know from your feedback mechanism. I get an idea and I feel as if sitting on a pin; they click, I yak it – feasible? accepeted, now lets work on it  – naah?  move on … there comes another idea! Thomas A. Edison said “To have a great idea, have a lot of them”. I wonder why we hold ourselves back when there are so many opportunities out there to-improve to-innovate to-demonstrate to-renovate. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
So, communicate its better being a fool for five minutes instead of being a fool forever.
That was a communication lesson for a change.
Change is hard and the rewards are worthwhile. What better way do we have to spend our lives?  —Ken Schwaber