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How do you avoid the dreaded "this is not what we asked for" and ensure customer satisfaction when building a new system?

In this webinar, Dino Esposito demonstrates a top-down methodology, sometimes mistaken for plain common sense and often boldly ignored, called UX-Driven Design (UXDD).

UXDD means coming to a visual agreement with customers by using wireframing tools to iterate on sketches of the new system before building it. Then, rather than building the system from the data model, you proceed in a top-down fashion instead. The resulting system may be slow or even inefficient but it will never be the “wrong” system! In addition, UXDD leads to clarity on a few of today’s most popular patterns that are sometimes difficult to understand like CQRS and Event Sourcing.

Watch the webinar and learn:

  • An introduction to Wireframing tools
  • Proven ways to save on post-first deployment costs
  • Insights into better customer relationships
  • Better focus on development without 'analysis paralysis'

Building Better Architecture with UX-Driven Design on Vimeo.

You can find the slide deck here: https://www.slideshare.net/sharpcrafters/building-better-architecture-with-uxdriven-design

Q&A

Q: Is UXDD aplicable for data driven apps such as most enterprise apps, like in banks?

A: It’s mostly about your interaction with users, whether consumers or corporate or whatever. I’ve seen UXDD similar things applied in a large (very large) pharma company. Missing link was that they simply split design of UX and design of code in two steps but design of code was done bottom-up. In general, I see benefits everywhere mostly because that helps taking a task-focused approach to the way you learn about the domain and processes. Particularly relevant I guess in enterprise business.

Q: What is the best system development process to use with UXDD - e.g. DSDM?

A: I see UXDD as two agile steps. And agile means what it usually means to you. But in some organizations distinct steps are problematic. In this case, I tend to see the first UXDD step (wireframes) as a sort of sprint zero. Possibly a repeated sprint zero not repeated for each sprint but more than once.

Q: How best to handle a situation where the cost to implement a screen is a very high? What if there is a better way to implement at a cheaper cost but at a sacrifice of usability.

A: As long as it keeps customers happy, any UX is fine. But users can appreciate MORE and MORE a UX that is super-simple, easy to understand, tailor-made to processes and friendly.

Q: I've heard a lot of from managers, that UI can be generated by data. So the data is essential and for hardcore enterprise it is tabular data. There are numbers of solutions for that approach. Devs modeling data, domain and then get UI for free - from the managers perspective. Any advice on how to convince those managers?

A: Unfortunately data is less and less simply tabular. And users are less and less willing to accept whatever UI a system can autogenerate. That’s precisely the mindset UXDD attempts to address. The simple answer (and most concrete) is that you save money after deployment. Money in terms of support work, fixing bugs, fixing logical bugs. If you don’t run into these problems, you’re probably OK as is.

Q: How is multiple UX Designs handled for a single data model? I mean if i have different UX for different devices rendering the same data how is that handled in UXDD?

A: Multiple frontends (like Web and mobile) talk to possibly different application layers and application layer is the topmost part of the backend. Under the application layer you find the reusable domain logic. Different UX may refer to different processes that orchestrate common pieces of business in different ways. Different frontend match possibly different application layers. (Application layer is one of the layers of DDD layered architecture. The place that orchestrate use-cases.)

Q: Can you please give an example of working with the top down UXDD approach and adjusting the business logic requirements. What is an example of adjusting the Business Logic to fit the User Interface? For example, if we learn that what users need is out of scope with project scope/timeline/resources, how can we affect the Business Logic?

A: The key fact I see behind UXDD is simply that everything starts from the top and only once you’re satisfied with the UX you start arranging the backend. How can you effectively design the BLL if you’re not sure about what users want? BLL is just the next step after UX or the part of UX that fits your scope/timeline/resources.

Q: When performance tuning comes into the place? During development or at late stages of development when you have UI defined completely?

A: UI and the backend share input and output and defining those things is the primary purpose of UXDD. At that point UI and backend can be optimized separately.

Q: Was UML to purpose this idea? And now MS removing it?

A: UXDD screens are essentially implementation of use-cases. And use-case diagrams are a foundation of UML. But in my opinion UML is too much and too cumbersome. Too many diagrams and formalism. But yes there’s some reasonable conceptual overlap.

Q: What's an example of an Event Store?

A: An event store is a database where you store the state of the system in the form of events (this is event sourcing, or having events as the data source of the application). Technically, an event store can be a NoSQL store (Mongo, DocumentDb, RavenDB) but it can be a JSON-friendly store (SQL Server 2016) or specific products like EventStore. Learning about Event Sourcing is helpful.

Q: What you think about "Advanced Prototyping" level with following workflow (e.g. we are working with ASP MVC):

  • 1) First we implement prototype in ASP MVC Views with faked ViewModels.
  • Use fake ViewModel Repositories, which in future we will replace to real.
  • Not repositories of domain objects, but repositories of view models.
  • At that time there is no domain objects and logic.
  • 2) After some iterations we have working prototype and then we implement domain objects and logic. And connect domain model with view model.

A: What you describe is what I did no more than a couple of times. Today ad hoc tools exist (ie, Axure) that can do most of the work for you and generate HTML frontends with fake data in a PowerPoint style way and a bit of JavaScript knowledge. A work non-developers can do. At the same time, these tools can create only storyboards—sequences of hyperlinked pages. If you need a bit of logic and realistic data in the prototype, then it’s a prototype and what you suggest is probably the least expensive way.

 

About the speaker, Dino Esposito

Dino Esposito

Since 2003, Dino has been the voice of Microsoft Press to Web developers and the author of many popular books on ASP.NET and software architecture, including “Architecting Applications for the Enterprise” or "Modern Web Development" or upcoming "Programming ASP.NET Core". When not training on-site or online for Pluralsight, Dino serves as the CTO of Crionet—a fast growing firm that specializes in Web and mobile solutions for the world of professional sports.

 

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