Programming against design, who is the best?

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#1 Aruta LLC  Icon User is offline

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Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:35 AM

Hey Guys,

Recently I had a bet with my friend and colleague at the same time :)
He is a programmer and he was telling that application doesn’t necessary require the good design. It can go without.
What would you think?
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#2 biggles2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:24 AM

I am unsure... yes a good program still works great without a good design such as VB6 with the win98 look tbh.

But me personally will tend to use a program according at the first glance. I wanted to get vista because of its looks then realised its thirst for RAM and the fact its riddled with bugs.

Me personally would say GFX are important, thats just my opinion. Most of the programmers like, Sloth or Marko will disagree with me as they are programmers. Im more of a visual person :)
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#3 mensahero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:44 AM

Yes he is right and you lost the bet. Software doesn't necessary require the good design.

Software is 90 % functionality and can be 100% good with just built in designs, like .net. And software with the simplest and most appropriate design that much the OS and its function will look more professional than those with highly graphics designed software. Unless your dealing with skins like mp3 players, multimedia stuff, etc.
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#4 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:24 PM

I would have to say that I believe software wins. Some of the ugliest software out there works the best and does exactly what it should. Looking at the other end of the spectrum some of the nicest looking programs are the worst I have ever used (or the hardest to get figured out).

It doesn't need to be pretty to work.
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#5 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:07 PM

I personally could care less (to a degree) what the interface looks like as long as it does what I want it to do. Applications with a less graphical UI definitely runs faster, loads faster and uses less resources.

I'm moving this to the Corner Cubicle, I think this is more than a Graphics Design question :)
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#6 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:52 PM

Theming is up to the toolkit. I want all of my applications to look pretty much the same. I absolutely hate when an application designer feels it's necessary to create some arcane looking application that completely ignores my theme. User interface developers should also should do their best to make use of the system icon theme and the icons it provides.

On Linux with Gnome and KDE, this isn't so much of a problem, but on Windows you see lot's of applications with custom UIs (Nero, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealOne Player, just to name a few).
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#7 Cerolobo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:01 PM

I consider the actual code structure, efficiency, functionality, and graphical elements to be a part of the design, so I find that a program should have a "good design".

If you were referring to a good graphical design, then no. I believe that the actual code matters far more then the visuals.

I could care less about how pretty a application is. If it is extremely slow, a memory hog, counter intuitive, or just not useful, then it will drive me nuts.

Personally, I divide programs up into 3 groups

Ohhhh... It's Shiny!
Take Windows Vista for example. Yes, it is kinda pretty. Once you get past the shine, its simply horrible. What is the point of having transparency in applications? Yes, you can see through them, but who wants to actually read or look at stuff under said transparency? I don't find "smudged up" text to be easy on the eyes. Then there is UAC. While I hate UAC, it is easy enough to turn off which makes it ignorable. So, you get a lot of things that I find to be useless, at only a 3x or more memory increase! The only thing that I liked about Vista, was that you could easily resize icons/thumbnails, which was great for photos and such.

Decent GUI, but annoying
Then you have other programs like OpenOffice.org. Yes, the GUI is actually decent, and it doesn't stray away from what the user expects, but there are a lot of things about it that make me hate the application. A lot of it has to do with the efficiency of the program. I simply can't forgive the number of cycles and the memory that the program eats up. I don't want to type something, and then have to wait a second or two, for the text to appear on the screen.

The "Good Designs"
I want to bring up two applications here. Take VLC. It has a extremely simple interface, and it just works. I've had VLC play HD videos that other media applications would choke on (Windows Media and Quicktime, to name a few), yet it still eats up less memory then a lot of the competitors. Another thing that I actually love about the program, is the hot keys. If you want to pause or to start a video, you simply have to hit the space bar. None of the other players (that I've tried) are that simple to use.

The other program I wish to bring up is uTorrent. uTorrent has a absolutely wonderful GUI. It is easy on the eyes, provides you with a lot of information, yet it is no cluttered. Drag and drop, and general functions within the application are extremely to do, plus the program is more then happy enough to hide in your system tray, while it does its work. In fact, I hardly notice that uTorrent is running half of the time. The only time I find it to be noticeable, is when my internet connection starts to feel slower.
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#8 biggles2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:18 PM

Told you they'd disagree but yes its not exactly the software you need/want of it isnt efficient its a bonus if it looks nice and runs fast.

And as Cerlolobo said: VLC is amazing, not goodlooking but enough for me to hate WMP
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#9 polymath  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:22 AM

I would say design is key to an easier implimentation. Its easier for the client with good design, works better, and can more easily be incorporated into other programs.
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#10 mensahero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:02 PM

View Postpolymath, on 19 Jun, 2008 - 09:22 AM, said:

I would say design is key to an easier implimentation. Its easier for the client with good design, works better, and can more easily be incorporated into other programs.


What kind of design? graphic design or Coding design?
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#11 Mikhail  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:52 PM

I don't really care about my design, All I want is that my applications be simple,fast, and effective. so I am going to go the same route as Psycho.
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#12 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:02 PM

Good software design helps the programmer, the user can be none the wiser. Good design makes programs easier to extend, debug, maintain, but all these things can still be done with brute force.

I'm an in house programmer for a large utility. I write custom apps as well as customize some commercial apps. Large scale stuff I write follows best practices as much as possible. Experience has shown that something I considered a one off can take on a life of its own, so even the little stuff should be designed well. To be perfectly honest, it becomes a compulsion after a while and sometimes you have to curb design preferences is favor of reaching a milestone.

In contrast, commercial stuff I've dug into is a very mixed bag. I've optimized things like database stored procedures, views, even client server code from many popular applications. I often learn stuff from how the big guys tackle a problem. I just as often shake my head in wonder that such shoddy work can make it out the door. However, unless you look behind the curtain, you honestly wouldn't know either way.
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#13 Aruta LLC  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:43 AM

Hey Guys!
Wow, there are a lot of comments. I'm surprised Thanks
Such kind of discussion is a normal thing between programming and designing departments in our studio (artua.com). I liked your posts and certainly I'll drop them to him!!)

This post has been edited by Aruta LLC: 20 June 2008 - 01:45 AM

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#14 Kirth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:02 AM

View PostAruta LLC, on 18 Jun, 2008 - 06:35 AM, said:

Hey Guys,

Recently I had a bet with my friend and colleague at the same time :)
He is a programmer and he was telling that application doesn’t necessary require the good design. It can go without.
What would you think?


In my opinion: most definately not. It doesn't matter which users you're aiming for, a clear and easy to use interface is a must.
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#15 captainhampton  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming against design, who is the best?

Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

The design aspect (if you are referring to the flashy GUI interface or something of the sort) then of course the actual functionality and code fueling everything behind it is 10 fold more important that the shiny interface. It's not bad to have a friendly user interface as such a program progresses for mass appeal, but the long and short of it is: If your program doesn't work it straight up doesn't work, regardless on how nice the interface may look.
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