Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Scalable Design

Scalable design for new features, new markets, and dynamic content ...

"You’ve spent the last six months toiling away at a product design. The last few weeks were especially rough—tying up loose edge cases, closing out bugs, polishing up interaction and visual design details. And now your product has launched, so its time for some well deserved rest, right?

Unfortunately, Bruce Sterling, science fiction author and design professor, got it right when he said, “Design is never done.” Before you know it, there are new features to add, new markets to conquer, and new updates to your application’s content.

Your seemingly elegant design begins to bloat with features, tear under the pressure of localization, and nearly keel over under the weight of new content that pushes it to its breaking point. Before long you give up. It’s time to redesign—again.

Could you have avoided this all too common cycle? Was there anything you might have done to anticipate these changes? One potential answer lies in scalable design considerations. Screen frameworks, user interface structures, and components that enable your product design to gracefully accommodate new features, new markets, and dynamic content—that can shrink or grow—are the cornerstones of a scalable design.

Screen Frameworks

An effective screen framework for an application can provide a blueprint for deciding how to integrate new features. Just as an architectural blueprint of a house clearly shows the kitchen, which tells you where to install a new oven, a framework organizes the spaces that make up an application screen.

Consider the screen framework for a Web-based reporting application in Figure 1. A set of key spaces organizes the application into a meaningful system. Tools that help people filter a data set are on the left. Options that let people access different data sets are above the data display area. Data-handling tools—export, save, send—are likewise above the data display."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]

Screen Framework - Usability, User Interface Design

Screen Framework


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