Effective Software Design: The 7 Important ElementsAs we all know, software design plays an important role in majority of the people’s lives nowadays as these people are more into computer’s usage because they perform lots of task with the help of this technology.
Not only this computers are essential in the people’s daily life, but also the what we call software or programs. These softwares can be classified from user-friendliness, availabilities and even its popularities. Operating systems like Windows 10 by Microsoft is a software. Other examples are Word, Excel, Powerpoint and even Windows Paint. These programs are so called application software or program as these type performs specific task.For example, Word is a word processor program, wherein user can only edit or create documents. Excel is a spreadsheet program that enables the user to compute, create graphs and write formulas and so on.
To develop these programs or software, a good system design and plan must be implemented. These are normally being done by system designers.Information technology trends are stepping ahead rapidly. These changes must be embraced and adapted by IT people. To develop an effective program design, there must be 7 elements that needed to be applied. Here are the essential 7:1. Easy to Use InterfaceInterface means how would the user will navigate and use the program or software by it’s appearance.
How would the user interact with the software? Does the user understand everything of what’s going on with the program? And it’s not only the communication between the software and the user is important, also the peripherals used to use the system. It is important to consider the devices to be used by the user. Some people love to use keyboards rather than mouses. Some are vice versa. This is what we call user experience. It is important to give the user the experience they would want and could be satisfactory to them. The current trend of considering tablets and touch screen devices are being considered in some new software design. 2.
FlexibilityAn effective program can be very flexible when it comes to its installation or set up to user’s terminals or computers. First, upon its set up, users must not encounter any errors or problems. By only reading and following the projected steps on the screen, user can install it with ease. Same goes to it’s deletion from the user’s computer. Other programs must not conflict upon it’s installation and uninstallation. User’s love software that contains less prompts, errors and can be set up smoothly. In some scenarios, there are software that would still be giving prompts and issues, of course, nothing is really perfect but fixes can be always given by program developers and designers.
3. Instruction & GuidesGranted that the software is easy to navigate, flexible to use and it can communicate well with the user, an effective instruction and guide hand book is still a must for the user to be able to use the software correctly. It is important that the user knows how to use it accurately to prevent further problems and errors.Guides should be written in words that the user can understand quickly.
Avoid using too much technical terms and if it’s possible, good drawings can also be added to the handbook. This is really important and helpful. 4. Visual ConsistencyThis one can be in good association with number 1, interface design. Colors of the software appearance must be very pleasant to look at. Texts must be readable and it contrast well with the background colors so the users can read every prompt, instructions, and system content clearly. Designs & buttons must be organized and the design of the object must be associated well with each other, as if the user knows what to do or click next just by looking at each object. A good program visual and appearance can lead to user’s enjoyment upon using the software and it is such a good point.
5.File Organization & Relational DatabaseInformation Technologists have tendency to clutter their files along their computer’s desktop and hard drives. Sometimes, their desktop was filled with icons and you can hardly see the wallpaper. It is a big no no especially when it comes to database. Database means collection of data being stored in a single file called table.
These data can be consist of names, contacts, and other fields. The main storage of data being entered in programs or software is also the database. Meanwhile, Relational Database means, tables are being related to each other. If one file or data is stored in another location, it is very hard to maintain such collections. Database files must be orderly and properly stored and organized so when the time comes to retrieve, edit and add more data, operations can be performed easily.
Database also plays a crucial role in software development and design. Data loss can be prevented only if the software designer and developer knows how to back up data from any form of data corruption.6. Ablity to generate accurate reportsAlthough, nowadays, good programs have digital back-ups through the database and hard drives, people and IT users would love to have something to hold on to and a paper to look at consisting the copy of what they could have seen on the computer screen. This is what they call “hard copy”. Software or programs that can easily generate, filtered, query and print reports are loved to use by organizations and users. 7.
Upgrades Recent programs are requiring regular updates. Updates are necessary to make the program works with newer hardware, devices and newer system versions. But a good program design, should not undergo a major change especially when it comes to interface. For example, colors and icons should only have small or minimal changes as it makes the user feel disappointed to use the system further. It is okay to introduce changes in the system, but minimize it to keep the user happy. Now that we all know the 7 Important Elements of a Good Program Design, whenever we use a new system, we can make a self evaluation of it!