Andrew Otwell said:
> Most web sites, and I'll bet almost no rich media are truly life- > sustaining or have possibility of catastrophic failure consequences > that bridges or buildings do.
I know Andrew and he can be funny at times. I am not entirely sure if he is
doing that here...I'll assume he's not.
I have designed (and built) dozens of web applications that can have
catastrophic failures, at a human or organizational scale, and up to the
Some examples are financial websites where individuals calculate if they can
pay their monthly mortgage, web applications where companies buy and sell
millions worth of phone-airtime, and governmental websites where individuals
sue others, companies file their taxes and pension funds report on their
billions worth of transactions.
And I can't be the only person doing this. Heck, someone must have designed
the machines in the emergency rooms, voting machines, ATMs, VCR's...
Alright, I'll stop there ;-)
> [..] I would > hate to work in an environment where programmers felt unable to make > suggestions or decisions like that. Besides, designers do the same > thing from the perspective of business owners or product managers.
But that's exactly what specs are for! To discuss design decisions,
conditional flows, calculations and rules, written down in addition to the
screen designs that show what they'll look like, with more or less detail.
> Ok, if some rogue programmer subverts something basic about the > product, or destroys some carefully crafted complex function, *and > doesn't bother to tell anyone*, that's one thing.
And that's what software tests are for; they test functions, chunks of code,
entire modules, and finally the behaviour of the entire system.
In an ideal world (yes, I know), these software tests are derived from the
same requirements as our interaction designs, be they business goals,
business rules, styleguides, accessibility and usability requirements, etc.
> Usually, though, > it's not much worse than something small that slips past you wish > hadn't. Fix it in the next release and move on.
Try to explain that to the tax office when they say you owe them instead of
the other way around...