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10 Tips on Better Design by David Straker

10 Tips on Better Design by David Straker

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If you’re into change leadership or persuasion, you might know David Straker from ChangingMinds.org, where he’s put together a massive knowledge base of concepts, techniques, principles, and theories on the art and science of change leadership.  

David is also the master mind behind CreatingMinds.org, where he has put together an arsenal of content and tools on the art and science of creativity and innovation.

I’m very honored to have a guest post from David on 10 Tips for Better Design.

It’s a fast read, and insightful.   David says a lot with so little.  He’s a master of precision.

Aside from tip #9 – Start at Goats, my favorite is tip #1 – Start with a Brief, Not Requirements.   It reminded me of how many years I suffered through bad requirements gathering exercises, until I learned some proven practices later in my career.   I still can’t believe how many bad requirements documents I’ve seen over the years, and how so many had completely failed to capture any sense of the end in mind.   The analogy I often used was that it’s not even obvious whether we were talking about Frankenstein’s head or his foot or his arm.   In fact, it was so bad, that after a while, I flat out stopped accepting any requirements documents.  Instead, I found other, more effective ways to capture and express the goals, requirements, and constraints.

I wish I had been exposed to the “Start with a Brief” concept long ago.  It would have served me well.  I actually think as more businesses go through their transformation and re-imagining, that this technique will prove even more useful.   I’m seeing business-first design really reshape how IT gets done. 

Your ability to capture, assert, and express design intent will serve you well for the years to come.

Enjoy David’s article and challenge yourself to walk away with at least one new tool you can use in your design toolbox, or one thing you can do differently from how you do your design thinking today.