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#Actualturch

Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:05 AM

For UI design specifically, Balsamiq Mockups is very good. It is $79 though, but I am mentioning it for completeness (I am unaffiliated with the company).

For project organization in general, there are several methodologies, and they vary in usefulness depending on what you are doing. When I worked on internal business applications, often the "design" process was 1) try to get the PHB to actually tell me concretely what they want, 2) spend 2 hours programming it , 3) spend 2 weeks modifying it little by little as they change their mind on what they want. For writing something like a tax application, you can know ahead of time the exact requirements and can design the entire thing before programming a single line of code (waterfall model).

For most projects, some form of agile development is usually helpful. Using issue tracking tools (whiteboards and notebooks are plenty good enough if you don't need to collaborate) you map out high level things ("display start menu", "load level", "draw frame", "check for collisions") and then refine and add more concrete goals ("create a vector class", then, later you realize you need to "add normalize function to vector class"). The ideal issue tracking tool you use will let you quickly and easily add a new issues - you don't want it to be a chore as you will be adding issues as you think of them while coding. I recommend you do some reading on agile development, but keep in mind that a lot of people tend to make it way to rigid and jargony (daily scrumm). Ignore that, and focus on the core message - keep your design agile and flexible.

There are a lot of little things that you pick up here and there, like this blog post on time tracking (Joel Spolsky has many articles on design and related topics so I recommend you look through the archives).

#4turch

Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:04 AM

For UI design specifically, Balsamiq Mockups is very good. It is $79 though, but I am mentioning it for completeness (I am unaffiliated with the company).

For project organization in general, there are several methodologies, and they vary in usefulness depending on what you are doing. When I worked on internal business applications, often the "design" process was 1) try to get the PHB to actually tell me concretely what they want, 2) spend 2 hours programming it , 3) spend 2 weeks modifying it little by little as they change their mind on what they want. For writing something like a tax application, you can know ahead of time the exact requirements and can design the entire thing before programming a single line of code (waterfall model).

For most projects, some form of agile development is usually helpful. Using issue tracking tools (whiteboards and notebooks are plenty good enough if you don't need to collaborate) you map out high level things ("display start menu", "load level", "draw frame", "check for collisions") and then refine and add more concrete goals ("create a vector class", then, later you realize you need to "add normalize function to vector class"). The ideal issue tracking tool you use will let you quickly and easily add a new issues - you don't want it to be a chore as you will be adding issues as you think of them while coding. I recommend you do some reading on agile development, but keep in mind that a lot of people tend to make it way to rigid and jargony (daily scrumm). Ignore that, and focus on the core message - keep your design agile.

There are a lot of little things that you pick up here and there, like this blog post on time tracking (Joel Spolsky has many articles on design and related topics so I recommend you look through the archives).

#3turch

Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:01 AM

For UI design specifically, Balsamiq Mockups is very good. It is $79 though, but I am mentioning it for completeness (I am unaffiliated with the company).

For project organization in general, there are several methodologies, and they vary in usefulness depending on what you are doing. When I worked on internal business applications, often the "design" process was 1) try to get the PHB to actually tell me concretely what they want, 2) spend 2 hours programming it , 3) spend 2 weeks modifying it little by little as they change their mind on what they want. For writing something like a tax application, you can know ahead of time the exact requirements and can design the entire thing before programming a single line of code (waterfall model).

For most projects, some form of agile development is usually helpful. Using issue tracking tools you map out high level things ("display start menu", "load level", "draw frame", "check for collisions") and then refine and add more concrete goals ("create a vector class", then, later you realize you need to "add normalize function to vector class"). The ideal issue tracking tool you use will let you quickly and easily add a new issues - you don't want it to be a chore as you will be adding issues as you think of them while coding. I recommend you do some reading on agile development, but keep in mind that a lot of people tend to make it way to rigid and jargony (daily scrumm). Ignore that, and focus on the core message - keep your design agile.

There are a lot of little things that you pick up here and there, like this blog post on time tracking (Joel Spolsky has many articles on design and related topics so I recommend you look through the archives).

#2turch

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:58 AM

For UI design specifically, Balsamiq Mockups is very good. It is $79 though, but I am mentioning it for completeness (I am unaffiliated with the company).

For project organization in general, there are several methodologies, and they vary in usefulness depending on what you are doing. When I worked on internal business applications, often the "design" process was 1) try to get the PHB to actually tell me concretely what they want, 2) spend 2 hours programming it , 3) spend 2 weeks modifying it little by little as they change their mind on what they want. For writing something like a tax application, you can know ahead of time the exact requirements and can design the entire thing before programming a single line of code (waterfall model).

For most projects, some form of agile development is usually helpful. Using issue tracking tools you map out high level things ("display start menu", "load level", "draw frame", "check for collisions") and then refine and add more concrete goals ("create a vector class", then, later you realize you need to "add normalize function to vector class"). The ideal issue tracking tool you use will let you quickly and easily add a new issues - you don't want it to be a chore as you will be adding issues as you think of them while coding.

There are a lot of little things that you pick up here and there, like this blog post on time tracking (Joel Spolsky has many articles on design and related topics so I recommend you look through the archives).

#1turch

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:52 AM

For UI design specifically, Balsamiq Mockups is very good. It is $79 though, but I am mentioning it for completeness (I am unaffiliated with the company).

For project organization in general, there are several methodologies, and they vary in usefulness depending on what you are doing. When I worked on internal business applications, often the "design" process was 1) try to get the PHB to actually tell me concretely what they want, 2) spend 2 hours programming it , 3) spend 2 weeks modifying it little by little as they change their mind on what they want. For writing something like a tax application, you can know ahead of time the exact requirements and can design the entire thing before programming a single line of code (waterfall model).

For most projects, some form of agile development is usually helpful. Using issue tracking tools you map out high level things ("display start menu", "load level", "draw frame", "check for collisions") and then refine and add more concrete goals ("create a vector class", then, later you realize you need to "add normalize function to vector class"). The ideal issue tracking tool you use will let you quickly and easily add a new issues - you don't want it to be a chore as you will be adding issues as you think of them while coding.

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