What is great design?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 gc 0 Comments

In the context of software intensive systems, I have taken an initial crack at answering: what is great design?

To me: Great design is simple, sustainable, and clear.

1. Simple: Great design is simple. In order for software design to be simple, it must be:
• Small: components, classes, methods, etc.
• Loosely coupled
• Progressive: classes and frameworks

2. Sustainable: Great design is sustainable. In order to be sustainable, it must be:
• Able to meet goals (and usually make money is one of them)
• Observable and testable--even easy to simulate
• Resilient to changes and failures

3. Clear: Great design is clear. In order to be clear, design must be:
• Described with clear names and phrases
• Intuitive with appropriate use of patterns and metaphors
• Easy and obvious

Quotes from others
"Great design is great business"
"Great design makes money"
"Great design wins hearts"
"Making money is the residue of great design"

To you: What is great design?

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