Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Web Developers and User Interfaces

Web application developers (the folks who program the functionality of the web application) are lousy user interface developers. That`s an assertion one hears a lot in the web designer and developer community, and was repeated again today in to an article entitled "This Is What Happens When You Let Developers Create UI."

But in application development, as in life, there are no absolutes. I`m sure there are many web developers like me who have to handle every aspect of the development process, including the design of the UI.

I've learned that the best way to avoid designing a programmer-friendly UI instead of a user-friendly UI is to work with your client to come up with the user interface first, and let the user interface dictate the functionality of your application instead of having the functionality drive the design of the interface. This is one of the ideas behind the Fusebox Lifecycle Process (FLiP), a development methodology where the user interface is finalized and the application structure is completely planned out and architected before any programming is done. Although originally designed for use with the Fusebox application framework, FLiP can be applied to any software development process, and going through the process of hashing out the user interface with your client before coding any of the application logic goes a long way towards removing any surprises or last-minute course changes at the end of the development process.

And there is one advantage to being both the programmer and the interface designer: I can make sure that the interface doesn`t require any functionality that is beyond my ability to program. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Welcome to my blog

Hello! My name is Brian, and welcome to my blog.

Starting tomorrow, I`ll be using this blog to share my knowledge and experience as an intermediate-level ColdFusion web application developer, any resources I come across that I think would be useful to other web application developers, and ...well...anything else I think is worth talking about. :)

Until then, check out the links over on the right for some ColdFusion and web development resources.