Some People Think Design Means How It Looks

Some People Think Design Means How It Looks

We can’t stress enough the importance of the requirements capture phase and what you can do to make that step successful. In this article, we will discuss the design phase of a software development project.

A software development project consists of the following phases:

  1. Requirements capture (Interviews and analysis)

  2. Design

  3. Programming

  4. Testing

  5. Beta software installation Customer beta testing and feedback

  6. Final changes

  7. Installation of final software

  8. Ongoing support

Your consultant’s goal for the design phase is to develop a specification for a system that will meet your business needs and take into account time, resources, and cost. During this phase, your consultants assemble the information they gathered from you during the requirements capture phase. They identify what you need in a system, how you will use it, who will use it, what system you currently have in place, and how much of the current system you want to keep or change. The consultants will then design the system.

The output of the design phase is the system specification. The system specification is like a set of blueprints that the consultants follow when developing your system. And just as it is very difficult, inefficient, and costly to build a house without blueprints, it is very difficult, inefficient, and costly to build a software system without a system specification.

The majority of the communication you may receive from your consultants during the design phase may be questions to verify aspects of your requirements capture. It is important to make sure the design is carefully created, as a flaw in design can lead to a flaw in coding, which in turn can lead to a flaw in the system.

If you were constructing a building, you might be alarmed to see the roof being constructed before the foundation has been fully designed. In the same way, it would be unwise for the consultant to start coding the screens of a system before the basic structure of the system has been determined. All the modules of a system must tie together seamlessly, and if the screens are designed too early, they might not link well with the rest of the system.

The requirements phase determined what functions you need your software system to perform. The design phase shows how those functions will actually be implemented in the system. Read the system specification very carefully. The design may need to go through several iterations to ensure the system specification describes a final product that will successfully meet your business needs.