Adaptive Design & Rapid Prototyping


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A 2005 presentation to Shift and the Victoria University Software Research group, defining the concept of adaptive design, and emphasizing the importance of rapid prototyping frameworks for developing the next generation of websites.

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  • adaptive design does mean anticipating the needs of users, but rather changing based on those needs. Based on the statement, the presenter is actually referring to predictive design.
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Adaptive Design & Rapid Prototyping

  1. 1. Mark Rickerby (C) 2005, coretxt, shift
  2. 2. what if you were designing a web application and you realized you had missed a crucial aspect of functionality? would you update the schematics? what about the sitemap? the functional spec? use cases? class diagrams? data models? requirements documents? terms of reference?
  3. 3. duplicated information threading through the various aspects of a project leads to “requirements rot” this management analogy has a parallel in the coding world... duplicated and tangled code leads to invisible and undocumented dependencies changing a field in one place can lead to ripples and breakages through the whole system
  4. 4. CMS: content mismanagement systems? - individuality of workflow: everyone has their own products tools and preferences - workflow roles and tasks are often too fluid and diverse to classify - problems with content management are mostly social: a technological “solution” won’t necessarily solve anything - “design freedom” involves more than just applying a stylesheet
  5. 5. the myth of the generic solution - the viral meme of “CMS” blurs the obvious distinction between publishing, design, and development - rather than try and enhance the fundamental aspects of the web (HTTP and HTML), many systems try and hide them away - the usual story: most applications that try to empower design actually end up limiting the design possibilities
  6. 6. user centered design - what if there was a web process that focused on growth and learning, rather than specification and management processes? - drive the design through assertions that solve user requirements - allow feedback to enter the design process. listen to everyone! - guerilla usability testing can identify the areas of a design that need to be further adapted - well designed systems are self documenting
  7. 7. drive the design with real examples - code evolves from unit tests within the code itself - schematic pages evolve from real world prototyping and usability testing - visual designs evolve from creative concepts, photographs, moodboards, and wireframe prototypes - use schematics and other diagram models as sketches rather than blueprints
  8. 8. the emerging open source ecosystem - agile management: acceptance of constant change - less code: use of more expressive language and metaphors - sustainable productivity: getting more things done in less time - the reusable generic solution evolves from the solution to a specific problem, not the other way round
  9. 9. how websites learn and what happens after they’re built? information architecture has a lot to learn from the experiences of architecture in the real world adaptive design means to anticipate the needs of users, yet not stand in the way of them being able to express their own needs within a certain space. designs should evolve and adapt to the way they are used and the content that flows through them. think of websites as social spaces for interaction, rather than a collection of fixed pages or separate visual interfaces.
  10. 10. shearing layers “because of the different rates of change of its components, a building is always tearing itself apart.” Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn . SITE different rates of change . STRUCTURE structural life ranges from 30 to 300 years, . SKIN while stuff inside the space can change on an almost daily basis . SERVICES . SPACE PLAN . STUFF