The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

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Great Design Series


I loved the first and second installment.  You're lookin for feedback, so here goes:

Can you comment on WHY folks don't do good design.  Understanding that will help engineers figure out when they are not on the right path and get right.  It's also cathartic.

Take care,
Mark Nelson Send private email
Thursday, January 26, 2006
man.  joel, you are one crazy white boy!  i saw you at
cfunited last year, GREAT talk. GREAT.

anyway, been watchin the site and the copilot
software, and this is a GREAT installment.  wow.
very thought provoking.

like to hear the next one... plan on podcasting
any of your stuff?
tony of the weeg clan Send private email
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Yeah this is looking to be a great series of articles. The topics remind me of why I started reading Joel on Software 5 years ago. Great practical articles with funny anecdotes and stories thrown in to keep things in interesting. Fantastic.
Daniel S
Thursday, January 26, 2006
One thing I noticed (but maybe its just me) is that joel is starting to 'sound' like rands:

"People throw away a lot of trash throughout the day and at a busy intersection if you don't make it big enough, it overflows and garbage goes everywhere. When that happens, one of the little six-pack plastic ringy-dingies will get in the ocean, and a cute little birdy will get ensnared in it, and choke to death. YOU DON'T WANT TO KILL BIRDIES, DO YOU?"

Funny.. as rands started writing because of joel, now joel starts writing like rands :) Then again, they have always had more or less the same 'style'
Martijn Gorree Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
I hear ya on the cellphone design problem.  I was immediately reminded of Alan Cooper's point in his book on UI design -- "What do you get when you combine a phone and a computer?  A computer."

My ten-year-old cellphone died last year and I had to shop for a new one.  Fortunately, my wife had to upgrade the year before, so I had the advantage of experiencing her phone, which takes *nearly a minute* to start up.  Quick start was an absolute requirement on my feature list.

Then a few months ago, we bought an emergency pay-as-you-go phone for my mother-in-law, and I got to have the fun of explaining the "red=on" button to a somewhat technophobic retired woman in her 70s.

And that was on top of the fact that the phone buttons were too small for her to read the labels, and the number of features she will *ever* use on the phone is small enough that there could be a dedicated button for each, but she nonetheless has to navigate on-screen menus to do almost anything other than make a call.  Oh, and it would be better if the phone wasn't tiny because the buttons would be bigger, but there aren't any cellphones that aren't tiny any more.
Jim Edwards Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006

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