Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
Experts are acutely aware of users. They deliberately involve users in the design process, studying them, talking to them, engaging them in testing intermediate designs, and even asking them to take an active role in the design team.
Yet experts do not take everythi...
While all developers create abstractions, experts design them. A good abstraction makes evident what is important, both in what it does and how it does it. Through a single lens, it communicates the problem it solves and the machinery of its solution.
Experts are not satisf...
Every design problem has an essence, a core set of considerations that must be understood and “nailed” in the design solution for it to solve the problem successfully.
This essence can be disruptive: changes in the core drastically alter the peripheral decisions that need to be ma...
Experts imagine how a design will work — simulating aspects of the envisioned software and how the different parts of the design support a variety of scenarios.
When working with others, experts regularly walk through a design by verbalizing its operation step-by-step. Whe...
In the same way that architects walk cities to examine and take inspiration from existing buildings, software experts examine the designs of other software to “see how they did it.”
They frequently do so in response to a particular challenge they face, but they often also ...
Experts often step back from the stated problem and consider the problem space more broadly, looking for alternative ways of understanding “what the problem is.”
They may change direction by reconceiving the problem space, or by addressing a different problem in the same s...
Design regularly involves error: things that “go amiss,” misunderstandings, obstacles, wrong turns, emergent issues. Rather than fearing error, experts embrace error as opportunity.
They accept it as an inherent part of design and take time to explore both...
While it is natural to focus on what a design must accomplish, experts also spend time thinking about what a design is not intended to do.
In articulating and considering boundaries, they discover where they are over- and under-designing.
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