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 design of the software. A good design is known to have a plan and allowance for new integrations, algorithm changes, and added features.
When you plan, you will save yourself a headache, 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 develop 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 revolves 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 users’ needs to focus on and attend to.
User Experience Stories and Flow Charts
There are three categories that software applications fall into:
- Completely automated
User-centered software applications have an interface that helps users communicate with the software to produce the desired outcomes. When you create user-centered 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. The user-centered design will involve storyboarding of why users 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 for a storyboard here, but you would have to map all the small components in a flow chart to organize 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 the user’s interaction and the processes that occur automatically to develop a solution.
Needs Tend to Change
It is imperative 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 want to change the tools or libraries to achieve a particular goal. In a world as agile as ours, we commit to providing a small set of functionality and feature in the iteration and then allowing needs to change if those changes aren’t interfering with the current sprint commitment. With time, the software turns into a legacy that needs to be updated to remain in the best interests of the business needs and goals.
When ais working on designing an application, the company’s future needs 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 finding 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 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 accessible throughout the application. When you update that code later, you 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 use 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 the 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.
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 if 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.