A Complete Guide to The Software Design Process
Software design is a technology-independent process that conceptualizes & transforms a software requirement into implementation. It’s a multi-level design concept that defines software methods, objects, functions, and the overall interaction & your code structure. It has six major objectives – correctness, completeness, efficiency, flexibility, consistency, and maintainability.
Technically, custom software development services always deliver a solid foundation for constructing an appropriate software structure. In every field of engineering, the process of software design precedes enforcing the products. Read this blog to know more about the software design process and its importance.
Principles of Software Design
Principles of software design are mainly concerned with delivering means to effectively manage the design process complexity. Complexity management does not only minimize the effort required for software design but it can also remove the risk of occurring errors during the design process. Moreover, software design principles also help to enhance overall user experience & customer loyalty. The following principles are usually employed to coordinate, organize, classify, & configure the structural components of software design.
- Modularity: Well, modularity is one of the major keys to maintainable, technical & robust Software design. It helps to divide a big project into smaller modules. So that, if your client wants to make some changes, you can easily restructure & modify the specific module. Apart from that, modularity also makes adding new features easier & accessible.
- Coupling: Another major software designprinciple is low coupling. It mainly refers to the interconnection between the software design modules & how closely they are connected. Technically, the low coupling is a good design feature. It allows you to make changes in each software module independently, without changing others.
- Abstraction: All software techniques involve working with different types of abstractions predominantly. This is also known as object-oriented software developmentwhich is a process of separating the behavior from the implementation & erasing extraneous & irrelevant elements. According to the custom software development company, abstraction-based software design concepts remove irrelevant data, boost the process of development & enhance the quality of programming outcomes.
- Anticipation of change: The demand for software developmentis always increasing. This means constant changes are required for the overall design requirements. The ability to accept new changes and adjust them pleasantly is crucial in developing an appropriate software design.
- Simplicity: One of the major goals of a proper software designis to make things simple. Every task in software design has a separate module that can be independently used as well as modified. The simplicity of the software makes codes easier & user-friendly. It also reduces the risk of introducing new errors.
- Sufficiency & completeness: An appropriate software designalways guarantees the overall sufficiency & completeness of any software. This means in terms of project requirements, it ensures that the program is comprehensive. It also makes sure that the program or software has been adequately constructed.
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What are The Steps in The Design Process?
Step 1: Brainstorming & Understanding The Project Requirements
Every software design project starts with a unique concept. Proper planning & project requirements define your software design objectives. It’s crucial to focus on a brilliant concept & gather all kinds of functional & non-functional project requirements to make the process easier. Moreover, it also comprises the user’s point of view, general challenges & what other issues to have to fix while developing a specific software design.
Step 2: Research & Analysis
After gathering all project requirements, you have to concentrate on the research & analysis. This means you need to study your target audience to make a prominent user persona, analyze the data collection & determine the design basics. Research & analysis help to build the foundation of the whole software and they are conducted in the following ways:
- Interviewing: Interviewing is one of the unique ways to directly find out the problems, honest opinions & proper information from your users. This helps to find out the proper solution for certain challenges they are facing.
- Group focusing: You can create focus groups of the target audiences to observe a thorough discussion on a particular issue prevailing with a software design. Group focusing allows you to focus on the preferences, points of view & opinions of your audiences prominently.
- Surveying: Surveying is a very time-efficient approach that helps to collect a significant amount of data quickly. In this process, you can determine the opinions & attitudes of your target audience towards the software design preferences by providing some specific questionnaires to them.
Step 3: Design
After thorough research & analysis, you need to start your software design. The design stage is the combination of five major components including wireframing, user stories, data flow diagrams, technical design & user interface. Take a closer look at them.
- Wireframing : Wireframing is crucial for any software designing process as it helps to enhance a solid understanding of the structure of a project. This is completely a systematic procedure that effectively saves time & effort. Wireframes are simple to modify. So, you can easily make changes in the wireframes until you achieve ultimate satisfaction.
- User Stories: They are casual & raw feature descriptions of any software. User stories are usually written from the perspective of the users so that they can navigate the overall software designconveniently without facing any challenges. Some of the following points must be included while making user stories:
- It should be written based on the user’s perspective
- It must be discussed & worked on collaboratively
- It should have a simple and readable format
- Data Flow Diagram: Data flow diagrams of DFDs are the visual representations that usually show several levels of concepts in a software designprocess. They are mainly 3 types:
- DFD level-0: It’s also called the fundamental system model or context diagram that shows a full system requirement in a single process.
- DFD level-1: Multiple processes are shown at the DFD level-1. You can highlight the major system functions & break down the DFD level-0 into subprocesses.
- DFD level-2: DFD level 2 takes DFD level 1 one step deeper. This is mainly used to record or plan the necessary information on the software’s functioning.
- Technical Design
Technical design is one of the important steps for software development as it describes the process of the functionality of a software system. It can be considered the project’s backbone as it assists the entire project implementation. This is basically a technical blueprint that includes software requirements, communication interfaces, software architecture, input/output details, etc. It also offers a proper description of:
- Hardware components & functionalities
- Functions of software elements
- Order of software aspects
- Data structures & data flow
- User Interface
The UI always comprises every part of the software design with which users will interact. While developing a UI, you have to make sure that the interface will be very user-friendly. It aims to make the user experience more pleasurable & enjoyable as well. Three major types of UIs are:
- Graphical User User Interfaces (GUI): Computer desktop
- Voice-Controlled User Interfaces (VUI): Amazon’s Alexa & Apple’s Siri
- Gesture-Based User Interfaces: VR Games
Step 4: Prototyping
A prototype is a draft of any product providing a visual representation of the final one. It’s more detailed compared to a wireframe. It helps to test product layouts and saves more time & money. Three major types of prototyping
- Lower fidelity: The low fidelity approach is mainly used in the early software designing stages. This is the easiest way to make a rough design model. Moreover, you can make changes very conveniently through low fidelity prototyping. It also allows you to try out more ideas before developing the final software design.
- Medium fidelity: Medium fidelity assists you to decide if the project requirements are achieved or not. This is a prototype with certain functionalities that are built on user scenarios. Apart from that, medium fidelity prototypes can also be presented more prominently.
- High fidelity: Lastly, these prototypes are usually computer-based & allow more realistic user interactions. High-fidelity prototypes are extremely functional & highly interactive and it also provides greater insight. They are mainly required when there are certain necessities for high visual & superior functional accuracy.
Step 5: Evaluation
Evaluation is the final & one of the crucial steps of design process. It mainly evaluates the overall degree of requirement & also repeatedly checks if the design is simple and smooth. Evaluation is also important for addressing the major design problems & debugging them before the final launch.
Tools Used for Software Development and Design
There are plenty of options available when it comes to choosing the best tool for software development projects. Among them, top 4 tools are discussed below
- Draw.io: This is a unique software development toolthat’s used to make diagrams in Jira & Confluence. It usually allows you to efficiently create process diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, ER diagrams, UML, network diagrams, etc.
- Jira: Jira is one of the powerful tools specially used for planning, managing & tracking your task. This tool helps to select a workflow or create your own workflow prominently. Moreover, you can easily add Jira with other tools that you’re currently using.
- Mockflow: This is a popular web-based wireframe that allows you to plan & develop your work. Mockflow is cloud-based & it offers a library of several mock components. This wireframe software allows designers to collaborate on UI prototypes for software & websites.
- Atom: This is a popular open-source IDE that is compatible with several operating systems such as OS X, Windows, and Linux. It’s known for its third-party integrations & high customization levels. Atom also supports cross platform editing.
A Complete Guide to The Software Design Process
With a trusted software design process, our team is always ready to create robust & agile software applications for you.
The entire process of software design is vast & it plays a vital role in making robust & powerful software. As a user-focused procedure, software design always focuses on all user requirements, needs as well as constraints. If you are interested in custom software development and design, talk to our experts at Sphinx Solutions. We deliver more scalable & robust custom software design solutions for our potential clients.
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