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JavaOne Blog 5: Good, Bad and Ugly of UI design?

Posted by malcolmdavis on May 9, 2007 at 1:09 PM PDT

Fascinating, entertaining, and humorous, but the session missed the point.

There is no question that developers don't understand GUI design. Alan Cooper has made this point over and over again. (Alan Cooper is the guy with the 1 line resume: Invented VB).

The analogy the speaker missed was the clear distinction between engineering and architecture.

An architect is concerned with form, function and the mindset of the user. However, engineers are focused on structure.

While an architect will design a building, an engineers will be involved in ensuring the build can handle the loads placed on the
building. Architects and engineers work together to achieve a single goal. (Builders actually construct the building, not architects and engineers.)

In reality, there is no such thing as Architecture in software. To keep analogies straight, the correct term for what most people think as software architecture should be software structure.

Many of the points of the presenter are well taken. I think every developer that is involved in GUI development should get a copy of Alan Cooper's "About Face", and READ IT. (Including the developers of the NetBeans team)