22 January 2011

Quick & Dirty Design

If only we had endless amounts of time to design. We'd go on and on and on and on, tweaking till the cows came home. In the real world though, good enough means it's good and it suffices for this project at this point in time. Even enterprise level systems, like Blackboard, change; we have to be able to exploit change on the spot. The best way to do that is to design with effective (and efficient) systems. They should be easy to learn and we should be able to transfer our skills to other similar systems. They should be easy (enough) to use and should interface well with related systems.

Quick and dirty design is elegant, not sloppy. It likely results in simple rather than complicated solutions. It's often an answer to an immediate problem. It's not R&D. Ultimately, it's about prioritizing. For example, after looking over some hosting services for my portfolio; I came back to three website building possibilities each for their simplicity. They are wikis, google.sites and this blog, which I've chosen (as of this writing) to host my portfolio. The workarounds and compromises I have to make are worth it, because I don't really need a fully functioning website right now. I want to get examples of my work on the web in an easy to use format. I don't want to spend the time learning how to do a Wordpress install, although someday I may; I want to tweak the features of this blogging platform to get it to do what I want.

Wikis, google.sites and blogs are templatized systems that make quick and dirty web and instructional design possible.