Dev Journal #004 — Defensive Design

For my fourth and final Dev Journal I read Defensive Design by 37 Signals.  What is defensive design? It’s a way strategy used when creating an app, website, program, etc. that attempts to stop problems before they happen.  A huge thing they talk about in the book is creating a great customer experience, and countering problems.  They say problems are due to happen, but the important thing is making it as simple as possible for the customer to get back on track.  I think it’s an excellent strategy, and if/when I am creating something in the future, I will absolutely take defensive design into consideration.  My idea for the GCE app was to create a homework app that any student in the class could add/change homework assignments.  I could absolutely see problems occurring  like if someone deleted the assignment, and another person tried to view it before it updated.  What would the error page look like, how would I help the person get back on track?  If I was to suggest GCE some changes, or things to think about when creating an app I would say:

Something that is overlooked was how we look at people who view our apps.  People who create applications, websites, etc. often think of the people using what they made as users, or conversions, other than what they actually are: people.  Another thing is error screens, most websites have error screens meant for professionals to read, the problem is people don’t know what they mean (ex: Error 404 page not found).  Professional developers create error screens that anyone can read (ex: This page was not found, click here to go to back).

Thanks for reading my last Dev Journal of the school year, who knows what will happen over the summer… maybe a Business Journal…