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.

The archives will remain online indefinitely.

Simplicity

What I mean by simplicity is more to do with options than features, in so far as they differ. And it means the software designer is prepared to make decisions.

It's too easy to add an option because one loud prospective customer who doesn't really understand the program keeps on demanding it, even though it doesn't quite fit into your vision. If one person wants it, you think, maybe some other people do too. We'll sell more software, and everyone else can just ignore the option anyway.

But it's a slippery slope. You end up with far too many options, the program becomes hard to understand, people choose wrong options or incompatible options, your QA department can't test every combination of options, and your program loses the ease of use it started with.

Don't do it! If one way is right, and one way is wrong or confusing, please just do the right thing, silently. That way I don't have to think *and* I can't mess up. And I promise to tell everyone that your software Just Works.
Stephen Turner Send private email
Sunday, December 10, 2006
 
 
(The discussion seems to have moved to the Joel on Software board, I suggest following up there).
Stephen Turner Send private email
Monday, December 11, 2006
 
 
My advice on this subject is:

Don't confuse options with configuration - I want to be able to configure my software (once) so it does what I need it to do, and then the actual day-to-day use should be as option-free as possible.
Pragmatique
Monday, December 11, 2006
 
 
"My advice on this subject is:

Don't confuse options with configuration - I want to be able to configure my software (once) so it does what I need it to do, and then the actual day-to-day use should be as option-free as possible."

I agree with this.  My option settings may be rather different from most, but I stick with them once I determine them.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Monday, December 11, 2006
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz