In the software development cycle, software designing is probably the most crucial part. Even before you start writing the code, you need to structure it properly. The whole process is extremely critical. There are going to be necessary updates and changes in the designing of software. A good design is known to have a plan and allowance for new integrations, algorithm changes, and added features.
When you plan ahead, you will save yourself a headache, some valuable time, and maintenance costs. Designing software is not less than problem solving. You need to break the task down into small parts, and then come up with ideas that can help you deal with each of these components in a certain way that provides maximum functionality.
A good design relies on several high-level systems and low-level components interacting with each other. Modern software design is known to revolve around forming modular components that can be called upon and deployed whenever needed. It helps in making software reusable, easily testable, and extensible. Before creating these components, you will have to consider the needs of the users that you want to focus and attend.
User Experience Stories and Flow Charts
There are three categories that software applications fall into:
- Completely automated
User-centred software applications are those that have an interface that helps users communicate with the software for producing the desired outcomes. When you create user centred software, you will have to keep the user experience in mind during the designing process. You need to be aware of the ways users interact with software to gain a perspective about the functionality that you ought to build, and how it can be beneficial. User-centred design will involve storyboarding of the reasons that make the user use the software and ways they wish to communicate with the software.
On the contrary, completely automated ones do not contain an interface or user. It is designed to communicate with another software application. There is no need to storyboard here, but you would have to map all the small components in a flow chart for organising them correctly. Many use sequence diagrams for documenting the different communications occurring between the systems.
A semi-autonomous software application is somewhere in-between. You have to think about user’s interaction as well as the processes that occur automatically to come up with a solution.
Needs Tend to Change
It is very important to have a good software design because the demands or needs are constantly changing. Because of this factor, the requirements will also change. At times, clients need new features. Other times, they may just want to change the tools or libraries to achieve a particular goal. In a world as agile as ours, we are committing to provide a small set of functionality and feature in the iteration, and then allow needs to change if those changes aren’t interfering with the current sprint commitment. With time, software turns into legacy that needs to be updated to remain in the best interests of the business needs and goals.
When a software development outsourcing company is working on designing an application, the future needs of the company or project may not be crystal clear right from the beginning. You need to anticipate several future needs. It is known for implementing the best practices from the start, rather than just trying to find a solution every time there is a problem.
Separation of Concerns
Separation of concerns is known to be the foundation of a good software design. It indicates that you necessarily divide the software into several component parts and build each one by one. It is better to stay away from code repetition. If you are likely to use a code again, you can keep it in a utility class so that it is accessible all throughout the application. When you update that code later, you just have to edit it once instead of visiting different locations to find the repeated code.
When you require a given component, you should call it and make use of it in the form of an abstraction layer. Such a separation is named modularity, and it is known for being scalable and maintainable architecture of software.
There are many benefits of modularity. They include:
- Testing and Debugging
Your ultimate goal while designing software must be simplicity. Every module, method, and class in the code must consider this purpose. Each new task will require its own module that can be used and modified independently. It will help in minimizing regressions and making the code easier for usage.
It is time to embrace the beauty of simplicity, which can be done by avoiding complexity in the code. It is easy to get tempted by a brilliant solution, but is there is a simple way to get the job done; then the latter should be your choice.
Designing software and learning its intricacies can be quite complex than what is mentioned in the article. However, if you keep these fundamentals in mind in differently sized projects, you will be able to move forward in the journey of being a successful software developer.