Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Top-down web product design

Designing the interface first ...

"One thing I’ve explored often is how many web-based applications fail because of a lack of proper planning. One thing that I haven’t stressed enough though, is that proper planning doesn’t always mean spending months on end thinking about every single detail, but actually thinking about things in the right order.

Traditional feature-centric design
Usually developers start planning applications by thinking of everything they want it to do - and let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to get excited: since you’re getting some functionality in, you might as well do all the other hundred cool things too, right? Well, wrong.

Getting excited is great, but it may just as well hinder the application development process. Focus slips, pretty soon you’re trying to solve all the world’s problems. You may have heard of scope creep - this is just the same, but it’s your fault, and is definitely avoidable.

Top-down product design
The solution is actually quite easy although it may seem odd if you haven’t done it before: design interface first, then underlying code. Result: no functional slippery slope - you know exactly what you need to build to accommodate the UI functionality. As a side benefit, you get to have something you can experiment with as a prototype sooner, which means you can get more input sooner and iterate over it."    (Continued via Webreakstuff)    [Usability Resources]

UI First - Usability, User Interface Design

UI First


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