Do Engineers Understand UX documents? (was "Alan Cooper on Software...")
31 Oct 2007 - 9:16am
7 years ago
On Oct 30, 2007, at 4:23 PM, Rich Rogan wrote:
> Cooper states "engineers don't know/ can't follow design", ID > design in > particular.
This also struck me when I read the article -- the implication that
engineers don't "get" UXD documents. Others have repeated this in
this thread as well.
This, too, I disagree with. In fact, I have consistently found
exactly the opposite to be true.
A high-fidelity wireframe or UI design specification makes the
engineer's job *way* easier in terms of delivering exactly what the
business and user requires. They are short and sweet. They are
visual. The readability and understandability of UI specs (especially
compared to old-school functional specs) are usually crystal clear:
"See this? Build it." If what they build doesn't match what our docs
say, then they built it wrong. How hard is that?
Many engineers have, when working with a firm like mine for the first
time, thought of our UI specs as a godsend. They see it as a radical
improvement in the whole software engineering process, because it
leaves so little to guesswork or ad hoc filling in the gaps. They
know that senior management has signed off on the specs, that users
have seen them, that the UI design work has already been figured out.
Some, of course, see it as a turf encroachment because our documents
tend to leave little wiggle room for backing off from difficult
features, and they often require engineers to "push back" in places
where our easy-to-build wireframes require months of work to actually
build. They also sometimes risk curtailing engineering innovation by
leaving little wiggle room in the positive direction, too.
But I've never, ever heard that UXD documents are hard to understand!
In what ways do engineers find UXD documentation hard to follow?
> > I don't think anyone writing in this thread feel Cooper is > attacking ID, > rather he seems to be rehashing very old "positive" concepts on ID, > without > considering massive advances the ID field has experienced in the > past 10 > years +, (note without a doubt Mr Cooper can take credit for many > advances). > > > His comments seem very relevant if it were say, 1995, but it's 2007 > and > there are more involved issues with design and development then > development > simply being ignorant of design. > _____________________________________________________________ > > Regarding Katie's comment: > > "It seems that you believe that there once was a tendency for > builders to > start building before the underlying work of the designer was in > place, but > that that no longer happens in today's good companies." > > > > My point of what troubles IxDA designers, and me in particular, was > a little > more nuanced then either above black and white statements. The main > issues I > deal with today are not when engineers don't know or can't follow > ID design, > but rather when there are many factors in the mix, which necessitate > multi-facteted solutions rather then "all would be good if > engineers just > "got" design". > > What are some of these factors, Katie does a decent job listing a > few, such > as "time constraints", "resource constraints", "engineers design > limitations", etc. > > This list goes on and on. Add in lots of business problems that > might come > up, these are the issues I deal with every day and need solutions > to, as > well as engineers that "get it", "don't get it", "don't want to get > it", and > "are trying to compete to get it". > ________________________________________________________________ > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah* > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/ > > ________________________________________________________________ > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)! > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org > Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe > List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines > List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help