Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Marc McNeill: Is good corporate software design too much to ask?

Marc McNeill: Is good corporate software design too much to ask?:

"Users are beginning to expect more. Giving them functionality is no longer enough, you have to ensure the application is engaging and compelling."

I am finding this more and more as well. You may need to have a good UI designer (and an HTML hacker to make the design real, preferably, these are the same person) in your corporate development arsenal. Now, what's good design? It's a little bit like asking what's good art. No easy answers to questions of esthetics.

However, I have a few examples of situations where you I have noticed that there is a problem:

If the users ask, what is it going to look like when it's done? You may have a UI design problem.

If you have a user that feels compelled to catalog the number of clicks and page reloads needed to do a simple operation in your application, you probably have a UI and application design problem.

If your Architecture Staff thinks that the answer to these problems is to write design standards that a committee spends 6 -18 months creating and then are put out on the corporate portal in a word document, you may need to look for a new job.


scott said...

>> If your Architecture Staff ...

No doubt - you should lead by example with working software rather than lead by document. I was impressed that "Practical Guide to EA" included content on user experience. There is no question that good user experience is part of good architecture... surprising how many architects don't think that way.

Matt M said...

I was impressed with the presence of that section in PGtEA. When I was working in Enterprise Architecture group at a large US governmental organization, I tried to bring up issues such as those and was basically laughed at. The office was primarily a document shop to demonstrate compliance with OMB rules and Federal EA standards and they wouldn't let me reach out to the project level, so I only lasted about six months.