HOME


Source: Wikipedia

Software design

Software design is a process of problem-solving and planning for a software solution. After the purpose and specifications of software are determined, software developers will design or employ designers to develop a plan for a solution. It includes low-level component and algorithm implementation issues as well as the architectural view.

Overview

The software requirements analysis (SRA) step of a software development process yields specifications that are used in software engineering. If the software is "semiautomated" or user centered, software design may involve user experience design yielding a story board to help determine those specifications. If the software is completely automated (meaning no user or user interface), a software design may be as simple as a flow chart or text describing a planned sequence of events. There are also semi-standard methods like Unified Modeling Language and Fundamental modeling concepts. In either case some documentation of the plan is usually the product of the design.

A software design may be platform-independent or platform-specific, depending on the availability of the technology called for by the design.

Design considerations

There are many aspects to consider in the design of a piece of software. The importance of each should reflect the goals the software is trying to achieve. Some of these aspects are:

Compatibility - The software is able to operate with other products that are designed for interoperability with another product. For example, a piece of software may be backward-compatible with an older version of itself.
Extensibility - New capabilities can be added to the software without major changes to the underlying architecture.
Fault-tolerance - The software is resistant to and able to recover from component failure.
Maintainability - The software can be restored to a specified condition within a specified period of time. For example, antivirus software may include the ability to periodically receive virus definition updates in order to maintain the software's effectiveness.
Modularity - the resulting software comprises well defined, independent components. That leads to better maintainability. The components could be then implemented and tested in isolation before being integrated to form a desired software system. This allows division of work in a software development project.
Packaging - Printed material such as the box and manuals should match the style designated for the target market and should enhance usability. All compatibility information should be visible on the outside of the package. All components required for use should be included in the package or specified as a requirement on the outside of the package.
Reliability - The software is able to perform a required function under stated conditions for a specified period of time.
Reusability - the modular components designed should capture the essence of the functionality expected out of them and no more or less. This single-minded purpose renders the components reusable wherever there are similar needs in other designs.
Robustness - The software is able to operate under stress or tolerate unpredictable or invalid input. For example, it can be designed with a resilience to low memory conditions.
Security - The software is able to withstand hostile acts and influences.
Usability - The software user interface must be intuitive (and often aesthetically pleasing) to its target user/audience. Default values for the parameters must be chosen so that they are a good choice for the majority of the users. In many cases, online help should be included and also carefully designed.

Associated Topics:
Aspect-oriented software development
Common layers in an information system logical architecture
Design rationale
Experience design
Interaction design
Search Based Software Engineering
Software development
Software blueprint
Software architecture
Software Design Description (IEEE 1016)
User experience
User interface design
Icon Design


Business Process Management

Business Process Management
Business Process Management Terms
Automated Decision Engine
Automated Decision Engine Terms
Document Imaging
Document Imaging Terms
Key Performance Indicator
Key Performance Indicator Terms
Process Mapping
Process Mapping Terms
Return on Investment
Workflow Automation
Workflow Automation Terms

Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery
Disaster Recovery Terms

Logistics

GPS Logistics
GPS Logistics Terms
Logistics
Logistics Terms


Marketing and Sales

Social Networking Sites
Blogging
Blogging Terms
Customer Relationship Managment
Customer Relationship Management Terms
Email Marketing
Email Marketing Terms
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization Terms
Social Networking
Social Networking Terms
Viral Marketing
Viral Marketing Terms


Project Management

Project Management
Project Management Terms
Request for Proposal
Requirements Gathering
Requirements Gathering Terms


Software and Database Design

Database Development
Database Development Terms
Information Silo
Nearshoring
Nearshoring Terms
Offshoring
Offshoring Terms
Software Design
Software Design Terms
Software Development
Software Development Terms


Web Site Design

Commercial Off-the-Shelf
Commercial Off-the-Shelf Terms
Content Management CMS
Content Management CMS Terms
Extranet
Extranet Terms
Intranet
Intranet Terms
Web Site Design
Web Site Design Terms