In construction, the civil engineer must resolve two primary forces: tension and compression. In software, the developer must resolve a different set of forces, primarily because the laws of physics don’t apply directly. Indeed, software is such a fluid medium that the development team can, in a sense, create new materials and new laws. In that context, for every software-intensive system, the team must resolve the forces of cost, functionality, and compatibility. It is because of these forces that every application produced by Resonant Media is goes through a exacting process of white boarding and brainstorming. This makes an incredible difference, both in development time and in the quality of the product developed.
Bullet Proof Design
At Resonant Media we know that the user interface to any website can be defined as the language through which the user and the product communicate the one another. The term usability is essentially a measure of the effectiveness of that user interface – how easy it is to learn, how efficient to use, easy to remember, robust (i.e. error-free) and subjectively pleasing. Think user-friendly. While functionality, content, and branding are all extremely important when developing a web site, usability is no less important and needs to be taken very seriously.
An article in the November 1998 Scientific American describes an incident aboard the USS Yorktown, a guided missile cruiser. A crew member mistakenly entered a zero for a data value, which resulted in a division by zero, an error that cascaded and eventually shut down the ship’s propulsion system. The Yorktown was dead in the water for a couple of hours because a program didn’t check for valid input. This true story underlines the importance of rigorous testing. Even with the best architecture it is important to put each web application through repeated test to insure that it will perform correctly in every situation.