Thursday, December 9, 2010

Design Principles - December 2010

The following document contains my personal principles for designing a system. They have been guided by the MIT Professor Ed Crawley's System Architecture framework, but they are also a result of a decade of professional experience as a Human Factors Engineer and User Experience Designer. I expect to evolve these principles as I progress in my professional life and learn from real world experience. In the meantime, the following are the principles which will guide my design process: 

Good system architecture is the intentional, accurate, 

and repeatable transformation of concept into reality.

Find a purpose, craft a vision for fulfilling it, and holistically 

advance it until the architectural objective is met. 

To architect an improved state, one must begin 

with accurate comprehension of the current state.

Take great measures to develop a rich 

understanding of your stakeholders and their needs. 

Great ideas are not created from empty space. 

They are in hiding, waiting to be discovered and given new life. 

Embrace the patterns in which ideas are developed.  Create an
environment in which ideas can be discovered and evolved. 

An idea is not fully understood until it can be seen.

Establish an experimental process for prototyping, 
understanding, and evolving ideas

A well-architected product conveys its purpose and function.

Utilize form, structure, and interface design 

patterns to visually communicate the utility of a system 

Simplicity is not a matter of less, it’s a matter of fit.

Avoid unnecessary excess at all levels of an architecture, from unused elements
on the user interface to low-value parts in the architecture.

The greatest feature serves no value if the system is not adopted. 

Don't show people how great your system is;
show them how great they’ll be with your system.

Sustained existence is impossible without the ability to adapt to change.

Design architectures that enable graceful evolution without diminishing value or altering intent. 

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