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Chapter 5. Strategy > Phasing in Design Standards

Phasing in Design Standards

In your strategic plan, make sure you get interface design standards in place early. Good design standards are so valuable that they can be justified almost any time there will be significant and ongoing development. It is as though you can hear a clock ticking when there are no standards. Certainly standards save development time—there is a real increase in expenses if developers must spend time reinventing the wheel. Also, the developers do not have the time, skill, or attention to dedicate to a design that a standards team has. Therefore, the designs are almost sure to be suboptimal. But the biggest concern is that all those current projects that are completed without standards will create a growing set of noncompliant screens.

Without a standard, you will develop an increasing body of noncompliant screens. These screens must then be modified to bring them into compliance. This is a daunting task, and no company ever seems to do it all at once. Instead, noncompliant designs are grandfathered in. They are brought into compliance with the standard only when they are being revised as part of some renovation or enhancement program. This makes the conversion less daunting and spreads the cost over years. It seems to be the rational thing to do, but it is still quite costly to just let developers keep churning out nonstandard designs while delaying standards development.


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