Designing With The Next Developer In Mind

A huge part of my role as a developer is to work with existing code that needs tweaks or changes to integrate new features. This is often not the fault of anyone but time; new features are required and old ideas are replaced. But often there’s a certain lack of forward thinking by the past developer.

This often manifests itself in a lack of comments, or in some sort of “hack” that got tacked on at the last minute to make the code work for what was needed “now.” Methods interact with each other in specific ways and there is limited modularization of classes. Procedural code is hard-coded with SQL statements and there’s limited room for future development.

This is an easy trap to fall into. When presented with a clear and concise requirements document, it’s easiest to build to the spec. But it’s not always best.
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Thursday, August 21st, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Web Architecture
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Apple: The Case Study for Usability

It would be hard to talk about usability without the ubiquitous iPod coming to mind. Apple likes the slogan “it just works,” and they spend a lot of time, energy and money painting anything by Microsoft as for business, too technical, and difficult to work with.

I’m certainly no Apple fanboy, and though I use a Mac and prefer it to Windows, I am keenly aware of its numerous flaws (try compiling PHP or ask Tony Bibbs). But I do concede that Apple is winning the usability war. So, what can we learn from Apple when it comes to usability?

There are three key components that make Apple products easy to use:
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 @ 9:02 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Usability
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