17 Apr 2007 malcolm   » (Master)

Documenting Helps Design

As a counterpoint to yesterday's quote about designer's being intelligent, here's one I ran across today.

"Before long I figured out that if Caroline [Rose, a technical writer,] had trouble understanding something, it probably meant the design was flawed. On a number of occasions, I told her to come back after she asked me a penetrating question, and I revised the API to fix the flaw she had pointed out. I began to imagine her questions when I was coding something new, which made me work harder to get things clearer before I went over them with her."

This is Andy Hertzfeld in his fantastic book Revolution In The Valley, which I recently bought and am slowly reading. Caroline Rose was writing the first version of the early Macintosh developer documentation in mid-1982.

Good design doesn't happen in a vacuum. You need to road test your decisions from time to time.

Syndicated 2007-04-07 19:41:52 from Malcolm Tredinnick

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