Why Designs And Specifications Require Diligent Simplicity in Digital Ventures
How to create a win-win position for service providers and consumers
Design and specification simplicity are essential factors to consider carefully in digital ventures. They pose a tremendous impact on the subsequent phases of the modernization and transformation lifecycle, especially during service delivery and support phases. The simpler the design and specifications, the more effective the delivery and service support can be.
Let me first introduce the importance of designs then touch on specifications. There are two core aspects to manage designs and design configurations in digital ventures in terms of simplicity.
The first aspect is that designs must be simple enough to understand, review, and implement.
The second aspect is, even though designs are core aspects of digital ventures, they can be intimidating to non-technical team members and business stakeholders. Thus, they need to be simplified and clarified during the team conversations.
One of the well-known solutions to design simplicity is applying the design thinking method. Design thinking combined with the use of an agile method can be an effective simplification approach.
Agile delivery revolves around simplifications for architecture, design, and specifications. Agile methods strive for simplifications using an iterative approach to problem-solving. Making gradual progress with iterations (small steps) can be simpler than attempting whole chunks as in traditional methods.
By applying agile methods to the design phase, complicated requirements can be simplified using simple use cases based on personas.
An agile approach allows complex systems to be deconstructed into smaller parts and dealt with using simpler pieces. Technical professionals can simplify system relationships with iterative flows using smaller building blocks of the system.
Most of the digital services nowadays are offered using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Mobile designs require extra attention to simplicity by removing clutter from small screens. Design constructs and configuration elements for consumer devices must focus on only fundamentally essential objects.
Designing complex systems require simplifications through a modular and service-oriented approach. A modular approach to complex solutions is an established method in the technology sector.
Another valuable approach for digital ventures can be a domain-based walkthrough of simplifying modules of technology infrastructure, applications, architecture, middleware, security, network, and data domains.
To understand design simplification in the technology sector, we can consider the container concept as an example. Containers break down monolithic interdependent architectures and design elements into manageable and independent components.
A container, as a loosely coupled system, can be an entire runtime environment in a bundle. Such as bundle can include system dependencies, binaries, libraries, and configuration files. These emerging techniques and approaches contribute to simplifying the design process in digital ventures.
Intelligent digital leaders must be conscious of simplicity for the design lifecycle. From the very beginning, they need to run workshops to convey the message for the intuitive user-centric designs based on simplicity principles.
At a later stage, designs turn into system specifications. Specifications are detailed explanation of design constructs and configuration elements. Convoluted specifications require to be simplified as much as possible considering useability goals.
For many years in the past, substantial time and energy was spent on the system and user specification of software and hardware products and services. They cost enormous funds for the projects developing the specifications with many talented engineers, technical architects, and other technical specialists.
However, it became evident that the investment made on these convoluted specifications yielded less gain than expected. And some projects even financially struggled and failed due to allocated funds to unnecessary specifications.
The digital trends, mobile culture, and agile approaches made substantial changes in addressing the cumbersome specifications, especially concerning the inhouse users and business consumers. The deep-down technical details for user specifications were found unnecessary. Thus, agile methods proposed simplifications of cumbersome specifications delivering in a format called “user stories”.
User stories are simple templates, including the functionalities, capabilities, and specifications from in-house users and business consumers point of view.
Developing and understanding the user stories consisting of a single page can be much more comfortable and more effective than developing and reading hundreds of pages of specifications in traditional methods. In modern organizations, specifications are smaller in size and easier to consume. This simple approach offers a win-win position for service providers and consumers.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
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About the author
I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.