[Pl-seminar] 12/16: Daniel Jackson, Conceptual design of software

Vincent St-Amour stamourv at ccs.neu.edu
Tue Dec 16 07:56:55 EST 2014

Reminder: Daniel Jackson is speaking at 10:30.

At Mon, 01 Dec 2014 13:01:07 -0500,
Vincent St-Amour wrote:
> NUPRL Seminar presents
> Daniel Jackson
> 10:30 - 12:00 (non-standard time)
> Tuesday, 12/16 (non-standard day)
> Room 366 WVH (http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/wand/directions.html)
> Conceptual design of software
> Abstract:
> What makes a software application usable, robust and effective? Elegant
> code, clean user interfaces, comprehensive testing, etc, all matter. But
> more important is getting the concepts right. Every software application
> is built around a collection of concepts that determine both the
> structure of the code and the shape of the user interface. Indeed, a few
> critical concepts often characterize an application: layers and masks
> for photo editors, for example; paragraphs and styles for word
> processors; formulas and relative references for spreadsheets; posts,
> tags and friendships for social apps.
> Despite their centrality in software design, concepts are often treated
> only indirectly, as second class citizens. Interface designers focus on
> use cases, wireframes and detailed interactions; programmers on module
> structures, datatypes and API specs; architects on scalability and
> performance; and so on. What's needed is a design approach in which the
> invention and analysis of concepts takes center stage.
> This talk outlines my current thinking on designing software with
> concepts. Drawing on good and bad examples from a variety of products
> (from Adobe, Apple, Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and others), it explains
> what concepts are, how they can be represented, and how to analyze
> concepts using some simple design criteria.
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