Principles & values in software design practice

Found another thought-provoking post on the Autodesk UX blog, this time about the core values that actions that shape a positive, successful, effective design practice:

http://dux.typepad.com/dux/2009/07/values-in-software-design-practice-.html

Basically there are two lists: one of right actions and one of relative values.

Right Actions:

* Setting Goals before Taking Action
* Understand Problems before Generating Solutions
* Designing before Writing Design Documents
* Validating Designs before Investing in Code
* Steak before Sizzle

Relative Values:

* Validated Data over Expert Opinion
* Quality of Data over Ease of Data Collection
* Complete Workflows over Long Feature Lists
* Achieving Results over Writing Reports
* Collaborative Design over Design by Referendum or Design by Fiat
* Ease of Use over Ease of Coding
* Well-designed Critical and Common Workflows over Complete Coverage of Every Possible Workflow

I really like the wording and intent behind most of these lists. I have some quibbles with Data vs Expert Opinion (sometimes the expert opinion can be right, defying user’s input, particularly for dramatic innovation) and sometimes Design by Fiat does work (if the fiat comes from an informed, talented, visionary/leader) or is needed due to severe dysfunctionality, chaotic processes, etc. Just depends on your culture and context…But overall good stuff!

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