What comes first, the Design or the Technology ...

12 Nov 2007 - 4:26pm
6 years ago
22 replies
939 reads
Grady Kelly
2007

What are the opinions here about what comes first, the Design or the
Technology?

I am currently designing a web application from an existing windows
application. No decision had been made at the time as far as the technology
to be used, only that it would be a web application. So I designed like I
normally do, I composite/mock up designs in Fireworks, and then build the
high fidelity prototypes with xhtml/css/javascript. We have been showing
our prototypes to users and have received a lot of great feedback and
approval.

Development has now decided to use Adobe Flex for the front end. Their
reasoning was biased towards developers, easier to code, MVC, strictly
typed, etc. My favorite was "The DOM breaks all the time, and we can't work
with it."

The developers tried to create my design in Flex. It was close in concepts,
but not near close to what I initially produced. My initial thought was,
maybe I should design in Flex, and make the Flex UI look like what I have
designed. But I am thinking more that users and the design should drive the
application and not development and what makes things easier for them.

Development is still making decisions about the application with comments
like, "it makes it easier for us to code" instead of "if we take a few more
days, we can use JSON and improve performance by 25%."

So what should come first? The design or the technology? Should one
conform to the other? Should the design break for development? Has anyone
else had this experience? Should the user come first? or the developer? Or
am I just out of my mind? ;o)

Thanks in advance!

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

Comments

12 Nov 2007 - 4:57pm
bminihan
2007

What you describe is pretty much the norm for me. Technology has always
affected the design, and it seems your situation is pretty typical, in my
experience. When given a choice and no external pressure, developers will
use the technology that makes their lives easiest, and everything (bar none,
except salary decreases) flows from that one decision. I've been one, so
that was my mindset, then.

I'm doing something very similar right now, except I have the dubious honor
of being able to design the whole application, and pre-determine the
architecture (technology) we'll be using. I hope to _blank_ I won't end up
coding the whole thing, too, but it's an extremely difficult place to be,
regardless. I'm designing just like you are, disregarding the perceived
technical limits in favor of features that optimize our main processes. On
the other hand, I have to make sure whatever architecture we use will allow
for all of the usable components we need. To that end, I'm planning to use
an open source portal platform with portlets that can take various
technologies (including plain HTML, Ajax, Java, NetBeans or JRuby). That
way, whichever developer we hire for this thing will be able to choose from
a range of technologies, without drastically affecting the design.

I know very little about Flex, or Silverlight, or some of the "hotter"
products on the market...my critical path is finding someone with good basic
development skills, who can work with me to grow into these new areas as
they mature. I fully realize whoever I hire is going to have very strong
opinions one way or the other.

In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the design. In
the real world, it does. Don't think you can change that, but you could
have designed your system to the constraints of a platform you know is up to
the task, and then tell the developers they have to use that technology.
It's probably too late for that (and I don't think you'd get a word in
afterwards, with all the laughing and giggling going on). Perhaps the best
you can do now is counter their "we can't do that because it's impossible"
arguments with some research on your own, proving the opposite. If you
provide code examples showing exactly what you want, you might win some
friends quickly (assuming they're normal and appreciate people who pitch
in).

One of the caveats I would add...I have noticed over the years that a good
design sometimes must change/conform to *what users expect of that
technology*. Even though something is technically possible in a certain
medium, that doesn't mean you should violate what users expect from that
technology for your design vision. I'm thinking of modal web page windows,
which prevent you clicking the screen behind them. Not that you should
never use them, but I've never seen a good reason to, and have never found
users in a study who appreciated them.

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Grady
Kelly
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 4:26 PM
To: IXDA list
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] What comes first, the Design or the Technology ...

What are the opinions here about what comes first, the Design or the
Technology?

I am currently designing a web application from an existing windows
application. No decision had been made at the time as far as the technology
to be used, only that it would be a web application. So I designed like I
normally do, I composite/mock up designs in Fireworks, and then build the
high fidelity prototypes with xhtml/css/javascript. We have been showing
our prototypes to users and have received a lot of great feedback and
approval.

Development has now decided to use Adobe Flex for the front end. Their
reasoning was biased towards developers, easier to code, MVC, strictly
typed, etc. My favorite was "The DOM breaks all the time, and we can't work
with it."

The developers tried to create my design in Flex. It was close in concepts,
but not near close to what I initially produced. My initial thought was,
maybe I should design in Flex, and make the Flex UI look like what I have
designed. But I am thinking more that users and the design should drive the
application and not development and what makes things easier for them.

Development is still making decisions about the application with comments
like, "it makes it easier for us to code" instead of "if we take a few more
days, we can use JSON and improve performance by 25%."

So what should come first? The design or the technology? Should one
conform to the other? Should the design break for development? Has anyone
else had this experience? Should the user come first? or the developer? Or
am I just out of my mind? ;o)

Thanks in advance!

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com
________________________________________________________________
*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://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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12 Nov 2007 - 5:05pm
White, Jeff
2007

My two cents is:

1. Business goals
2. User's context - UCD "stuff"
3. Those two drive the design
4. The design should drive the technology

A. There will always be the normal circumstances of doing business -
resources, time, etc and the trade-offs that result.

But generally, technology and development effort should not drive
design. I encounter this situation all the time and I'm sure most
others do as well. It comes down to relationship building and selling
the value of the designs we create and the rationale behind the
various decisions that are always made.

Jeff

On Nov 12, 2007 4:26 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:
> What are the opinions here about what comes first, the Design or the
> Technology?
>
> I am currently designing a web application from an existing windows
> application. No decision had been made at the time as far as the technology
> to be used, only that it would be a web application. So I designed like I
> normally do, I composite/mock up designs in Fireworks, and then build the
> high fidelity prototypes with xhtml/css/javascript. We have been showing
> our prototypes to users and have received a lot of great feedback and
> approval.
>
> Development has now decided to use Adobe Flex for the front end. Their
> reasoning was biased towards developers, easier to code, MVC, strictly
> typed, etc. My favorite was "The DOM breaks all the time, and we can't work
> with it."
>
> The developers tried to create my design in Flex. It was close in concepts,
> but not near close to what I initially produced. My initial thought was,
> maybe I should design in Flex, and make the Flex UI look like what I have
> designed. But I am thinking more that users and the design should drive the
> application and not development and what makes things easier for them.
>
> Development is still making decisions about the application with comments
> like, "it makes it easier for us to code" instead of "if we take a few more
> days, we can use JSON and improve performance by 25%."
>
> So what should come first? The design or the technology? Should one
> conform to the other? Should the design break for development? Has anyone
> else had this experience? Should the user come first? or the developer? Or
> am I just out of my mind? ;o)
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Grady Kelly
> grady at gradykelly.com
> http://www.gradykelly.com

12 Nov 2007 - 5:17pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Grady, the answer is "YES".

Few things:
1. Collaborate w/ Tech on design. Don't over the wall something to
them. You'll get dinged every time.
2. Don't avoid the question of technology during the design process.
By doing #1 you want to make assumptions with engineering buy-in so
that if they pull a "we want to work in Flex, now" on you can point
to previous agreements in the design.
3. If you get great feedback that affirms your design decisions,
document them, get buy-in that everyone agrees and use them
throughout.
4. KNOW the technology. What in the world about Flex would make your
designs not work? Flex creates AJAX/HTML code. It is just a
development environment and server runtime engine.
5. There is a 3rd party here, no? Where's the business? Who has the
business' ear? Are they part of the collaborative process? If not,
why not? If so, why are they agreeing with engineering? And why
haven't you made your case.

To me the question of which comes first, is the wrong question. The
right question is, how do I manage design within the organization.
Any time engineering has that much clout that your design suffers
then you haven't managed the design process well enough to reach
success. ...

... Or, your organization just doesn't really care about design as
much as you want them to.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22445

12 Nov 2007 - 6:00pm
Steve Baty
2009

This about sums up my experience working with code-level developers:
excellent advice.

I absolutely can't emphasise enough the difference #1 makes to a development
project. Get your development lead working side-by-side with the 'design'
team as early as possible and you'll get a much smoother ride through the
rest of the project. Encourage them to go and do small proofs-of-concept
around those features that may or may not work in a particular technology
option - incorporate the results back into the design documents.

Regards,
Steve

On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 14:17:23, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Grady, the answer is "YES".
>
> Few things:
> 1. Collaborate w/ Tech on design. Don't over the wall something to
> them. You'll get dinged every time.
> 2. Don't avoid the question of technology during the design process.
> By doing #1 you want to make assumptions with engineering buy-in so
> that if they pull a "we want to work in Flex, now" on you can point
> to previous agreements in the design.
> 3. If you get great feedback that affirms your design decisions,
> document them, get buy-in that everyone agrees and use them
> throughout.
> 4. KNOW the technology. What in the world about Flex would make your
> designs not work? Flex creates AJAX/HTML code. It is just a
> development environment and server runtime engine.
> 5. There is a 3rd party here, no? Where's the business? Who has the
> business' ear? Are they part of the collaborative process? If not,
> why not? If so, why are they agreeing with engineering? And why
> haven't you made your case.

----------------------------------------------
Steve 'Doc' Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
Director, User Experience Strategy
Red Square
P: +612 8289 4930
M: +61 417 061 292

Member, UPA - www.upassoc.org
Member, IxDA - www.ixda.org
Member, Web Standards Group - www.webstandardsgroup.org
Contributor, UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com

12 Nov 2007 - 6:39pm
Grady Kelly
2007

Thanks for the responses thus far.

I think that one of the reasons for this situation, is that the company I
work for has been around for 9 years, and has never had a designer of any
sort. They are still learning about what I do and how I can contribute.
Some developers have seen how I can make things easier for them, but there
are some that have not had the epiphany just yet.

Thanks for your list of comments David, the only thing that is not quite
accurate is that Flex does not produce AJAX/HTML code, it is a Flash
application development platform. Applications are served up as a swf
file. You can go to http://flex.org/showcase/ to see some sample
applications. It is not

I may just need to press forward and gradually show the advantages of good
design to the groups that David mentions,
and get more people involved in the process. I totally agree with Jeff's
comments. I guess part of my headache is that it is just so plain and
simple to me to go in that direction, that it is hard to understand why
others do not see it.

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

On Nov 12, 2007 4:00 PM, Steve Baty <stevebaty at gmail.com> wrote:

> This about sums up my experience working with code-level developers:
> excellent advice.
>
> I absolutely can't emphasise enough the difference #1 makes to a
> development
> project. Get your development lead working side-by-side with the 'design'
> team as early as possible and you'll get a much smoother ride through the
> rest of the project. Encourage them to go and do small proofs-of-concept
> around those features that may or may not work in a particular technology
> option - incorporate the results back into the design documents.
>
> Regards,
> Steve
>
> On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 14:17:23, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> >
> > Grady, the answer is "YES".
> >
> > Few things:
> > 1. Collaborate w/ Tech on design. Don't over the wall something to
> > them. You'll get dinged every time.
> > 2. Don't avoid the question of technology during the design process.
> > By doing #1 you want to make assumptions with engineering buy-in so
> > that if they pull a "we want to work in Flex, now" on you can point
> > to previous agreements in the design.
> > 3. If you get great feedback that affirms your design decisions,
> > document them, get buy-in that everyone agrees and use them
> > throughout.
> > 4. KNOW the technology. What in the world about Flex would make your
> > designs not work? Flex creates AJAX/HTML code. It is just a
> > development environment and server runtime engine.
> > 5. There is a 3rd party here, no? Where's the business? Who has the
> > business' ear? Are they part of the collaborative process? If not,
> > why not? If so, why are they agreeing with engineering? And why
> > haven't you made your case.
>
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------
> Steve 'Doc' Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
> Director, User Experience Strategy
> Red Square
> P: +612 8289 4930
> M: +61 417 061 292
>
> Member, UPA - www.upassoc.org
> Member, IxDA - www.ixda.org
> Member, Web Standards Group - www.webstandardsgroup.org
> Contributor, UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> *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://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

13 Nov 2007 - 2:26am
Björn Simonson
2007

In my company we work with three skills: interaction designers;
developers; graphical designers.

I've found that bringing in both of the other skills very early on
(think initial brainstorming) pays off later on as everyone has been
a part of the project from the start and also because I get a lot of
valuable input.

Later, when I'm making the prototypes, I routinely check with both
the developers and the graphical designers to get their opinions (can
we implement this? Can you make this look good?) and make sure that
there are no surprises in store for them when I'm done.

Cheers

Björn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22445

13 Nov 2007 - 7:48am
Adrian Howard
2005

Hi Grady,

On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:26, Grady Kelly wrote:

> What are the opinions here about what comes first, the Design or the
> Technology?

They both evolve together. You need a medium and a message :-)

> I am currently designing a web application from an existing windows
> application. No decision had been made at the time as far as the
> technology
> to be used, only that it would be a web application. So I designed
> like I
> normally do, I composite/mock up designs in Fireworks, and then
> build the
> high fidelity prototypes with xhtml/css/javascript. We have been
> showing
> our prototypes to users and have received a lot of great feedback and
> approval.

Sounds great.

> Development has now decided to use Adobe Flex for the front end.
> Their
> reasoning was biased towards developers, easier to code, MVC, strictly
> typed, etc. My favorite was "The DOM breaks all the time, and we
> can't work
> with it."

Note - that that's not a bias towards developers in general. That's a
bias to a particular group of developers with a particular skill set.
In my current $work the bias would be pretty much the opposite for
example :-)

Also - why now? Did they like HTML before? Were the involved early
enough that information about the costs of developing one route could
effect the design decisions made?

> The developers tried to create my design in Flex. It was close in
> concepts,
> but not near close to what I initially produced. My initial
> thought was,
> maybe I should design in Flex, and make the Flex UI look like what
> I have
> designed. But I am thinking more that users and the design should
> drive the
> application and not development and what makes things easier for them.

They should each drive each other. If you can't implement your design
you have no product. If there is no design you have a bad product.
This means that developers, business folk, IxD folk, etc. all need to
be talking together right from the start.

> Development is still making decisions about the application with
> comments
> like, "it makes it easier for us to code" instead of "if we take a
> few more
> days, we can use JSON and improve performance by 25%."

I'd say they're fairly important comments on what kind of designs may
be possible no?

> So what should come first? The design or the technology? Should one
> conform to the other? Should the design break for development?
> Has anyone
> else had this experience? Should the user come first? or the
> developer? Or
> am I just out of my mind? ;o)

Getting a good product comes first. Design, business and development
need to work together to make that work :-)

Cheers,

Adrian

13 Nov 2007 - 7:50am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:57, Bryan Minihan wrote:
[snip]
> In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the
> design.
[snip]

Isn't that like saying "stone should have no effect on sculpture",
"paints should have no effect on portraiture"?

Seems somewhat strange to me...

Adrian

13 Nov 2007 - 7:55am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 12 Nov 2007, at 23:00, Steve Baty wrote:

> This about sums up my experience working with code-level developers:
> excellent advice.
>
> I absolutely can't emphasise enough the difference #1 makes to a
> development
> project. Get your development lead working side-by-side with the
> 'design'
> team as early as possible and you'll get a much smoother ride
> through the
> rest of the project. Encourage them to go and do small proofs-of-
> concept
> around those features that may or may not work in a particular
> technology
> option - incorporate the results back into the design documents.

++

Getting everybody working together early and iterating is the best
way of I've found of getting good products out of the door.

Cheers,

Adrian

13 Nov 2007 - 8:52am
bminihan
2007

Actually, it's not, really. I was thinking primarily of the technical
underpinnings of a system, and not the whole of the technology itself.
Yeah, even in a perfect world, the fact that something is a web application
(the technology) has to have something to do with the design (improve or
diminish its effect). I meant the application of a particular technology
shouldn't have anything to do with the design, good or bad.

You're right in that I was being a little too general in my glibness =]

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Adrian
Howard
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 7:50 AM
To: IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What comes first, the Design or the Technology
...

On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:57, Bryan Minihan wrote:
[snip]
> In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the
> design.
[snip]

Isn't that like saying "stone should have no effect on sculpture",
"paints should have no effect on portraiture"?

Seems somewhat strange to me...

Adrian
________________________________________________________________
*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://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

13 Nov 2007 - 8:53am
Katie Pula
2007

Intelligent design would be nothing without technology, and vice
versa. But we know this already...right...

I%u2019m not sure if everyone is taking a particular development
methodology into account within these views, but Agile absolutely
depends on multi-disciplinary teams working side by side up front
— and ongoing. There is no such thing as design simply being
done, and passed over the fence, into developers hands, who only then
realize it isn%u2019t feasible. User stories, which broadly define
functionality in beginning stages, should be created by UE lead, Tech
Lead, and Business Lead. Wireframes and UE concepts/models/goals
should be attached to these stories before any developer can utter
the word estimation or feasibility.

Even though Agile negates large upfront planning phases (which
produce huge requirements docs which usually result in sweet lies in
the end), there is still a need to take an Iteration 0 (4 weeks?).
This gets a multi-disciplinary team together upfront to create and
analyse: user stories, choice of technology (front and back), main
wireframes and interaction models, style guides, etc. Iteration 1
hits, and all of the crinkles/concepts might not be perfectly worked
out yet — but there surely shouldn%u2019t be any arguments
surrounding which technology is going to serve up the massive concept
that already has user and client buy in. :)

Cheers,
Katie

Katie Pula
Creative Director | Sr. Interaction Architect

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22445

13 Nov 2007 - 10:23am
White, Jeff
2007

Doesn't seem strange to me at all. I'm thinking the sculptor has an
idea of what she wants to make and picks the best stone for the task
at hand.

On Nov 13, 2007 7:50 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh at quietstars.com> wrote:
>
> On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:57, Bryan Minihan wrote:
> [snip]
> > In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the
> > design.
> [snip]
>
> Isn't that like saying "stone should have no effect on sculpture",
> "paints should have no effect on portraiture"?
>
> Seems somewhat strange to me...
>
> Adrian
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *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://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

13 Nov 2007 - 11:23am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
our specific medium? The medium dictates how the user/viewer will
interact with the product, and thus effect the design. I don't see
any way around that....

Design for TV is intrinsically different than design for print, than
for web, etc ... Each medium has it's own restrictions and
strengths...

To bring that back to technology, each medium also has it's own set of
technology. The technologies usually represent, at some level, how
that medium works, without understanding them and designing for them
we'd be designing posters for website ... doesn't really make sense.

How would you design software without considering the keyboard, mouse,
and monitor? Or for that matter, OS based form elements? Screen
size?

Picking the "best stone" in this case means picking the best
technology for your product, but you still have to pick one, and it
will still change the design.

On Nov 13, 2007 10:23 AM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Doesn't seem strange to me at all. I'm thinking the sculptor has an
> idea of what she wants to make and picks the best stone for the task
> at hand.
>
> On Nov 13, 2007 7:50 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh at quietstars.com> wrote:
> >
> > On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:57, Bryan Minihan wrote:
> > [snip]
> > > In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the
> > > design.
> > [snip]
> >
> > Isn't that like saying "stone should have no effect on sculpture",
> > "paints should have no effect on portraiture"?
> >
> > Seems somewhat strange to me...
> >
> > Adrian
> >

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

13 Nov 2007 - 11:57am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

If it's not one of the major factors then what are you designing?
Generally you will know that you are designing software, or a website,
or a car, or a phone ... you can't just design "a product" .. you have
to know what the product is ... and when you know what the product is
then your medium and technology begins to come into play.

I'm not saying that those things should be the sole driving force
behind the design.. but you can't design in a vacuum.

On Nov 13, 2007 11:50 AM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> our specific medium? "
>
> I think this is kind of the point - don't choose the medium until you
> know what has to be accomplished. That said, of course the medium
> impacts the design. But it should not be the sole (or major)
> determining factor when making design decisions, IMO.
>
> Jeff
>
>
> On Nov 13, 2007 11:23 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> > our specific medium? The medium dictates how the user/viewer will
> > interact with the product, and thus effect the design. I don't see
> > any way around that....
> >
> > Design for TV is intrinsically different than design for print, than
> > for web, etc ... Each medium has it's own restrictions and
> > strengths...
> >
> > To bring that back to technology, each medium also has it's own set of
> > technology. The technologies usually represent, at some level, how
> > that medium works, without understanding them and designing for them
> > we'd be designing posters for website ... doesn't really make sense.
> >
> > How would you design software without considering the keyboard, mouse,
> > and monitor? Or for that matter, OS based form elements? Screen
> > size?
> >
> > Picking the "best stone" in this case means picking the best
> > technology for your product, but you still have to pick one, and it
> > will still change the design.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

13 Nov 2007 - 12:11pm
White, Jeff
2007

I think we're agreeing with each other and just getting hung up on
semantics? Strange for this list :-)

Regardless, my bottom line opinion is that business processes and the
designs that support them should not be defined by the limitations of
technology. Don't choose a technology, framework, etc until you know
the goals and some high level needs of whatever project you're
undertaking.

On Nov 13, 2007 11:57 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> If it's not one of the major factors then what are you designing?
> Generally you will know that you are designing software, or a website,
> or a car, or a phone ... you can't just design "a product" .. you have
> to know what the product is ... and when you know what the product is
> then your medium and technology begins to come into play.
>
> I'm not saying that those things should be the sole driving force
> behind the design.. but you can't design in a vacuum.
>
>
> On Nov 13, 2007 11:50 AM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > "I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> > our specific medium? "
> >
> > I think this is kind of the point - don't choose the medium until you
> > know what has to be accomplished. That said, of course the medium
> > impacts the design. But it should not be the sole (or major)
> > determining factor when making design decisions, IMO.
> >
> > Jeff
> >
> >
> > On Nov 13, 2007 11:23 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> > > our specific medium? The medium dictates how the user/viewer will
> > > interact with the product, and thus effect the design. I don't see
> > > any way around that....
> > >
> > > Design for TV is intrinsically different than design for print, than
> > > for web, etc ... Each medium has it's own restrictions and
> > > strengths...
> > >
> > > To bring that back to technology, each medium also has it's own set of
> > > technology. The technologies usually represent, at some level, how
> > > that medium works, without understanding them and designing for them
> > > we'd be designing posters for website ... doesn't really make sense.
> > >
> > > How would you design software without considering the keyboard, mouse,
> > > and monitor? Or for that matter, OS based form elements? Screen
> > > size?
> > >
> > > Picking the "best stone" in this case means picking the best
> > > technology for your product, but you still have to pick one, and it
> > > will still change the design.
>
> --
>
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
> ++
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
> Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
>

13 Nov 2007 - 11:50am
White, Jeff
2007

"I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
our specific medium? "

I think this is kind of the point - don't choose the medium until you
know what has to be accomplished. That said, of course the medium
impacts the design. But it should not be the sole (or major)
determining factor when making design decisions, IMO.

Jeff

On Nov 13, 2007 11:23 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> our specific medium? The medium dictates how the user/viewer will
> interact with the product, and thus effect the design. I don't see
> any way around that....
>
> Design for TV is intrinsically different than design for print, than
> for web, etc ... Each medium has it's own restrictions and
> strengths...
>
> To bring that back to technology, each medium also has it's own set of
> technology. The technologies usually represent, at some level, how
> that medium works, without understanding them and designing for them
> we'd be designing posters for website ... doesn't really make sense.
>
> How would you design software without considering the keyboard, mouse,
> and monitor? Or for that matter, OS based form elements? Screen
> size?
>
> Picking the "best stone" in this case means picking the best
> technology for your product, but you still have to pick one, and it
> will still change the design.
>
>
>
> On Nov 13, 2007 10:23 AM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Doesn't seem strange to me at all. I'm thinking the sculptor has an
> > idea of what she wants to make and picks the best stone for the task
> > at hand.
> >
> > On Nov 13, 2007 7:50 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh at quietstars.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > On 12 Nov 2007, at 21:57, Bryan Minihan wrote:
> > > [snip]
> > > > In a perfect world, the technology should have no effect on the
> > > > design.
> > > [snip]
> > >
> > > Isn't that like saying "stone should have no effect on sculpture",
> > > "paints should have no effect on portraiture"?
> > >
> > > Seems somewhat strange to me...
> > >
> > > Adrian
> > >
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
> ++
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
> Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
>

13 Nov 2007 - 12:18pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Agreed :)

That's pretty much what I was saying, it seemed to me that the
previous posts were saying the the design shouldn't be related to the
technology at all, which isn't quite right.

On Nov 13, 2007 12:11 PM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think we're agreeing with each other and just getting hung up on
> semantics? Strange for this list :-)
>
> Regardless, my bottom line opinion is that business processes and the
> designs that support them should not be defined by the limitations of
> technology. Don't choose a technology, framework, etc until you know
> the goals and some high level needs of whatever project you're
> undertaking.
>
>
> On Nov 13, 2007 11:57 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> > If it's not one of the major factors then what are you designing?
> > Generally you will know that you are designing software, or a website,
> > or a car, or a phone ... you can't just design "a product" .. you have
> > to know what the product is ... and when you know what the product is
> > then your medium and technology begins to come into play.
> >
> > I'm not saying that those things should be the sole driving force
> > behind the design.. but you can't design in a vacuum.
> >
> >
> > On Nov 13, 2007 11:50 AM, Jeff White <jwhite31 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > "I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> > > our specific medium? "
> > >
> > > I think this is kind of the point - don't choose the medium until you
> > > know what has to be accomplished. That said, of course the medium
> > > impacts the design. But it should not be the sole (or major)
> > > determining factor when making design decisions, IMO.
> > >
> > > Jeff

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

13 Nov 2007 - 2:20pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Nov 13, 2007, at 8:23 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> I also think this sounds a little strange... shouldn't we design for
> our specific medium? The medium dictates how the user/viewer will
> interact with the product, and thus effect the design. I don't see
> any way around that....

I've been working on a new blog post regarding this subject, and I
gave the first iteration of a talk about this very topic in Utrecht,
Holland a few weeks ago at a CHI Nederland event. The PDF of that
talk can be found at:

http://www.designbyfire.nl/documents/think_center_design_edge.pdf

I'm hoping the new blog post and my thoughts that better explain this
presentation go live in the next two weeks or so. Since giving the
talk in Holland, I've figured out some better means of communicating
the larger point that I need to rework in. I'm also going to be
giving this talk at Yahoo! in the next couple of weeks and should
have a lot more of the pieces in place.

The short summary for me is that the core design definitions come
first, technology agnostic. Then once these core pieces are defined
for any particular product, you then work towards the specific medium
dealing with its specific technology constraints. The example I use
to describe this is to think of the graphic designer working on a
business system. They define the color, logo, type, and other core
brand elements first, then figure out how to express that brand on
envelopes, letterhead, signage, packaging, etc.

More on it in the near future though.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

18 Nov 2007 - 1:06am
dszuc
2005

"Get your development lead working side-by-side with the 'design'
team as early as possible and you'll get a much smoother ride through
the rest of the project."

Yes and suggest this is a large part of making the work between the
design and dev team work. We worked on a project where the dev was
outsourced and the dev team only looked at the designs later in the
process -- and really played catch up to see if the designs could be
implemented.

So getting smaller teams of mixed disciplines to sit and work
together can make a difference.

"Encourage them to go and do small proofs-of- concept around those
features that may or may not work in a particular technology option -
incorporate the results back into the design documents."

Yes! We used this approach to build the framework to support many of
the UI implementations we were suggesting and it made the dev team
feel more comfortable with the approaches. You can also think about
what you think your users will be comfortable with based on the UI
approaches and any new approaches you are introducing (especially
with AJAX)

rgds,
Dan

Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
www.apogeehk.com
T: +852 2581 2166
F: +852 2833 2961
"Usability in Asia"

The Usability Kit - www.theusabilitykit.com

On Nov 13, 2007, at 8:55 PM, Adrian Howard wrote:

>
> On 12 Nov 2007, at 23:00, Steve Baty wrote:
>
>> This about sums up my experience working with code-level developers:
>> excellent advice.
>>
>> I absolutely can't emphasise enough the difference #1 makes to a
>> development
>> project. Get your development lead working side-by-side with the
>> 'design'
>> team as early as possible and you'll get a much smoother ride
>> through the
>> rest of the project. Encourage them to go and do small proofs-of-
>> concept
>> around those features that may or may not work in a particular
>> technology
>> option - incorporate the results back into the design documents.
>
> ++
>
> Getting everybody working together early and iterating is the best
> way of I've found of getting good products out of the door.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Adrian
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
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19 Nov 2007 - 10:59am
Parth Upadhye
2007

Here is an excellent article by Jeff Patton on Interaction Design and
Agile Development.

Often this struggle between "Designers" and "Developers" seems so
unnecessary. It is simply a product of insecurity on part of either
players. Patton describes methods of getting all players to work
together.

This chasm has to be crossed. Working together can yield some
fantastic results. A recent Fast Company article on Design and
Business gave an example of a company that wants to be like Apple
however they did admit that they did have the same guts :)

Here's a link to "The Seven Axioms of Yves"

What can IxD do? Be proactive and create the forum for discussion.
Sitting in your silo, you don't why the "others" are taking the
decisions they are taking ... cross the chasm.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22445

19 Nov 2007 - 2:51pm
Mark Schraad
2006

If you attached a file, it wil not get through to us. A link will work much better (Jeff Patton article).
Thanx

On Monday, November 19, 2007, at 11:00AM, "Parth Upadhye" <parth.upadhye at gmail.com> wrote:
>Here is an excellent article by Jeff Patton on Interaction Design and
>Agile Development.
>
>Often this struggle between "Designers" and "Developers" seems so
>unnecessary. It is simply a product of insecurity on part of either
>players. Patton describes methods of getting all players to work
>together.
>
>This chasm has to be crossed. Working together can yield some
>fantastic results. A recent Fast Company article on Design and
>Business gave an example of a company that wants to be like Apple
>however they did admit that they did have the same guts :)
>
>Here's a link to "The Seven Axioms of Yves"
>
>What can IxD do? Be proactive and create the forum for discussion.
>Sitting in your silo, you don't why the "others" are taking the
>decisions they are taking ... cross the chasm.

19 Nov 2007 - 3:05pm
Parth Upadhye
2007

Here are the links. I linked to them using tags. :( Trying to be too
smart eh.

>>Agile and IxD
http://www.agileproductdesign.com/writing/hitting_the_target.pdf

>> Here's a link to "The Seven Axioms of Yves"
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/119/the-seven-axioms-of-yves.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22445

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