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Chapter 29. Up the Waterfall > Rationalized Reality

Rationalized Reality

What we really need is a life cycle model that takes advantage of the ways most people actually tend to think and work, but which keeps developers from becoming their own worst enemies. The problem is how to capture just enough information that can be used later without disrupting the flow of the current problem-solving activity.

My boss and I were recently working on the user interface design for a desktop applet, trying hard to act like disciplined software engineers applying a systematic interface design strategy, but we repeatedly tripped over our own tendencies to get ahead of ourselves. We kept getting these great ideas about detailed interface layout and behavior when we were supposed to be identifying abstract scenarios describing user needs.


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