good design: /'gud —/ the product of deliberate forethought and careful understanding of the purpose of a subject, resulting in a subject which significantly improves its utility, allowing it to integrate seamlessly and naturally into the role for which it is intended.
false synonyms: fashion, decor.
|The Truth about Yoda ||Tue Apr 23, 2013|
There's been a flurry of activity concerning Yoda Notation (also referred to as Yoda Conditions) recently. A conversation at work revealed that this term of art has taken off. More surprising, however, is the misinformation surrounding it.
|Logical Expressions Visualized||Sun Oct 12, 2008|
If there's one thing that computing has brought to the forefront, it's dealing with logical expressions. We deal with them on a daily basis, but communicating anything more than the most trivial expression to non-technical folks remains a barrier.
|How Much is Too Much?||Fri Apr 11, 2008|
I recently had a discussion with a colleague about the design of a feature our team was working on. One component was a particular sticking point for this fellow.
|The Best Things are Often the Simplest...||Sat May 19, 2007|
There's that story—apparently apocryphal—of how NASA spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a pen that would work in the microgravity of space...
|Terminology||Mon Jul 17, 2006|
Okay, here's some terminology for you. Some of it is tongue-in-cheek, but it's useful (I think) when discussing design issues.
|Simplicity is the Soul of Invention?||Thu Jul 6, 2006|
Many years ago, while I was still new to Autodesk, I went to some out-of-house AutoCAD training. We had just released R14, with lots of whistle-and-bang features new to the product...
|Globalization||Fri May 19, 2006|
"In French, oeuf means egg, cheese is fromage... it's like those French have a different word for everything!"
"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French...
|Complexity vs. Usefulness—Regular Expressions||Tue May 16, 2006|
I love these things called regular expressions. I think they're the coolest. The kinds of things you can do with regular expressions is incredible...
|How much do you want to play Simple Simon?||Mon Mar 6, 2006|
I've often likened working on computers to playing Simple Simon: if you told a computer to "put your shoes and socks on", that's exactly what it would do: put its shoes on, then put its socks on... because that's what you told it to do...
|Importance of Good feedback - Sisyphus' Progress Bar.||Wed Feb 8, 2006|
There's a fellow in Greek mythology named Sisyphus who—for his sins while alive—was condemned for eternity to roll a boulder to the top of a hill in Hades. Just as he got it there, it would fall apart and roll back down to the bottom...
|Bugs: Attitude or Bad Attitude||Tue Jan 17, 2006|
I saw an old review of Steve Maguire's Writing Solid Code, in which he gets lambasted (with considerable ad homiems, I notice) by a reviewer that I think missed the point.
|Predictability||Mon Dec 19, 2005|
You hear the term intuitive frequently when it comes to interface design. Unfortunately, intuitive means different things to different people. Like the saying goes, "Common sense often isn't."
|Taking the Long View||Tue Dec 13, 2005|
It's surprising how often poor design stems from shortsightedness. "Oh, we never expected it would be used for that."
|Imperfect Indicators||Tue Dec 13, 2005|
Imperfect indicators are those which closely parallel a state you're trying to watch, but are themselves uncoupled from it. Being uncoupled from that state, of course, means that isn't always accurately representing that state.
|Missing any O-Rings, Anyone?||Tue Nov 8, 2005|
We have an expression at work: Don't lose the O-Rings...
|Design Pebbles ™||Tue Oct 4, 2005|
One of the things I plan to do on this forum is to call out little "Design Pebbles"™—little faux pas or oversights that, like a pebble in your shoe, are tiny things, but become major irritants with repeated use.
|The U in USB Means Universal... Why isn't It?||Wed Sep 14, 2005|
I got this doodad while attending a function a while ago. It's one of those retracting cord things. One side is a standard USB connector, and the other is a fitting that plugs into a particular cell phone's charging jack...
|Coding in Style||Tue Sep 6, 2005|
Code serves one purpose: to communicate intent. It does so to two audiences: the compiler that will reduce the code to machine instructions, and the hapless souls who will have to look at your code in the future.....
|Universal Measurement||Fri Aug 26, 2005|
Since this section discusses design, I thought I'd take a light-hearted excursion from the practical into the realm of "nice, but Thomas, you're never going to convince anybody." A bit of "fun" design.
|Design Flaws of the HP6315—lessons learned (?)||Wed Jul 13, 2005|
I've come down pretty hard on the HP6315, and I think I've made my case why. I'm not alone: complaints about the HP6315 are quite abundant on the web...