3 Steps to Effective Software Design

It is quite an astonishing experience to see that the world is thriving together in using the computer as a major mean to run its daily course. People are continually pushing forward with expanding their knowledge with regard to computer technology. However, what is more astonishing to know is the fact that from a world that started from sharpened rocks and two-stone fires, we are now living in a generation renovated by sharpened minds, illuminated by the knowledge we have acquired over the trial and errors of time. Thanks to the power of computing, this world is living in transcendence and will likely to be so much more.

a computer graphic

Computers have crept in practically every crevice of our daily lives. In fact, we can go as far as to say that our lifestyle is now based on what our computers can offer. In our social structure, we are witnesses to the rising number of people who are utilizing the wonders of social networking sites or SNS. It has become so in demand that almost everyone has their hands full on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social networking platforms.

Even the field of business has taken notice of computers’ powerful appeal. In fact, websites are now primary requirement for businesses to provide content for these people dubbed as ‘netizens’. A prevailing tool in the internet called WordPress has become widely used, in fact according to this WordPress hosting test, this platform is on the rise and will continue to rise given the consistency of the sites. Looking at the bigger picture, we can see that businesses utilizing the power of computing produce jobs for people who are learned in the discipline of computer engineering and computer science, as well as information technology.

We can see it wide open that computer technology provides a link to different and varying fields. From social to economic to the academic field, there is a linear pattern which computer technology offers. This is the same reason why people nowadays are leaning towards understanding its processes, the very fundamentals of the broad subject.

One of the most important aspects of computer technology is software design. What is software design really? Software design refers to the process of applying software solutions to one or more set of problems. Frankly speaking, we cannot utilize any of our computers without its software. This is why it is important for us, especially the ones interested in the field, to take a look on the process of designing software.

Here are three guidelines to understand the software design process.

Planning is Key

Good planning is THE phase which all successful projects share. For software design, the right planning makes all the difference. Thus, the first step towards successful software design planning is critical analysis.

keys displaying "needs" and "wants"

Software designers must interact, extract, recognize and analyse. Software design is an intricate process that starts with having a good grasp on what objectives to meet. Designers should have good interaction skills with the client, so that he may extract the essential purpose and preferences they have.

Recognizing and distinguishing which requirements need to be checked and rechecked is also an important part of the planning phase. In addition, the developers should have to perform a high level analysis on what steps to do and how to do it.

The second phase of planning focuses more on specification. The backbone of software design is the mathematical description which will be utilized rigorously in the specification task. Specification is the task of accurately defining the software to be written.

a venn diagram of specification

Most effective specifications are actually prepared to interpret and fine-tune applications that were already well-built, albeit safety-critical software systems are often carefully specified prior to application development. In addition to that, specifications play a more significant role for external interfaces that must stay stable.

In the last stage of planning comes the architecture of the software. Software Architecture is defined as an abstract representation of that system. Basically, it is the software construction which makes sure that the requirements and specifications are addressed properly. It’s the blueprint of the software to be implemented.

Make it Happen

After all the elements are made clear during the planning stage, Execution phase comes next. In software design, the execution stages are implementation and testing.

Implementation comes as an antecedent to all development to execute the plan. In this case, it is the coding part. Programming of the design proves to be the most obvious job of the software engineer. Various programming languages can be utilized in this stage of execution, thus different approaches can be made in designing software.

keep calm and continue testing

After the code has been written, it is important that the project be tested and reviewed in search for any glitches. This opens the door to find out which workaround solve any underlying problem. Testing is a demanding and laborious task for the software engineer, but it proves to be vital in the development of the actual software. Without testing, software design cannot be proofed or verified.

Maintain it, Sustain It

Software design maintenance is the cherry on top of planning and execution. The truth of the matter is that issues in the software are inevitable. That is why sustaining it with exquisite maintenance model is just as important as the development itself. Documentation, training and support, and primary maintenance are the key factors in software sustenance.

One of the most significant things most people in the software design field forget is consumer training and support. We know that even when the software is out, and there is nobody who knows how to operate it, the whole thing is pointless. With ample training, support and fast feedback, everything can run smoothly. However, how do companies in software design conduct training and support?

software repair

Software designers and involved parties give out seminars and training to customers and clients before they start using the application. In this way, the client can freely ask questions while learning how to handle the product.

In addition, documentation comes as a very integral part in maintenance. Documentation in the field of software design is an important task that deals with filing the internal design of the software to create references for future maintenance and enhancement. In the literal context, it’s a diary of what worked and what did not in the implementation process. It goes hand in hand with testing. In a nutshell, documentation is the recording and citation part of the whole development process.

Having documented all the problems and the technicalities, the primary maintenance now comes in to play. All the mentioned processes come down to the maintenance. It’s a vigorous process that needs to ample time be. Almost always, there will be problems in the software. That is the reason why there is more work in maintenance than the planning and coding combined. It is all about continuous growth and continuous learning for the full-fledged software designers.

Software design is definitely a complicated process that includes various phases. It requires a lot of work and a whole lot more dedication. With the right planning, designers can learn which demands to meet and how they can provide specific solutions. The implementation comes afterwards where the programming and testing phase brings out the beauty of the technology. Lastly, the maintenance of this software is to be watched out for since problems will certainly arise.

Our relentless reliance on technology attests that we are a race that is still evolving. To evolve is to accept that change inevitable, especially in meeting the changing needs of our technologically demanding times. With right conviction, we are continually expanding our knowledge in the field of computer technology for the advancement of our lives.

Software design is a key ingredient in this endeavour, and having the right knowledge to go about its process is a significant factor for both professionals and aspirants alike.

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