When a software developer begins work with a new project, it's natural for him to choose to commence scripting the code immediately. Regardless of his software knowledge, if someone produces software without laying out a strategy for it, he might as well have been laying bricks without establishing a solid foundation.
The building will fall no matter how robust the construction process and resource consumption are; similarly, the software would fail without a fundamental layout.
Nobody wants their efforts to be for waste because they didn't have a plan for them, right? That's where software design comes in, a mechanism that simplifies important software operations in a certain way.
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What is Software Design?
Software design is a method of creating a blueprint, or layout, for organizing the code of a software program. It's that simple to describe, but is it that straightforward to carry out? That is a completely different case, but if you are doing software design for a new software project, you must understand its significance; otherwise, you may overlook its sharpness.
Software development is a multi-step process. The software is a multi-layer, multi-dimensional spectrum with numerous intermediary processes in its construction.
Software designing is divided into two major phases:
- Conceptual Design
- Technical Design
You might be interested in bringing bits of software together in a non-technical way as part of concept generation. For instance, you could wish to generate a list of all the components and their functions and wireframes and flow diagrams. As a result, we concentrate on non-technical representations of software in conceptual design.
Common methods used for conceptual designs are:
- Mockups & Flow chart
- Component diagrams
- Class-Responsibility-Collaboration (CRC) cards.
After you've finished the conceptual design, you may start thinking about the technical details. You may now wish to ask yourself questions such as,
- How would it get implemented?
- How will it interact with the Server/Database?
- How will it interact with other modules?
During the technical design phase, all of these concerns are addressed. In technical design, you're mostly concerned with how the implementation will be carried out. The following are examples of common technical design methods:
- Class Diagrams
- Activity diagram
- Sequence diagram
- State Diagram
Multiple architectural viewpoints are frequently used to depict software architecture. Consumers, designers, managers, system engineers, programmers, and other stakeholders in the software development process are addressed by each architectural approach.
The views describe how the software architecture is broken into modules and interrelated modules, capturing the essential software design decisions concerning the structure. These software design decisions must, of course, be based on requirements, functional and non-functional restrictions, and other constraints. However, these decisions impose further limitations on demands and future software design options at a lesser level.
Objectives of Software Design
The objective of having software design can be listed as follows:
A good design should correctly implement all the functionalities of the system.
Good software addresses all the resources, cost, and time optimization issues.
A good design is understandable. It should be modular, and all its modules are arranged in layers.
The design should have all the components like data structures, modules, external interfaces, etc.
A good software design should be easily adaptable whenever a change request is made from the customer side.
Principles of Good Software Design
Software designing becomes some of the most convenient designs when the following principles are applied.
Modularity is dividing a big software project into smaller portions/modules. It's the key to designing robust and technical, and maintainable software. The project is split into several portions. Each worked on separately. Because of the modularity, testing each module becomes easier.
An aspect of good design is low coupling. Because of the minimal coupling, modifications to each module can be made without affecting the others. ·
Abstraction is the process of isolating the core behavior from its implementation and eliminating extraneous elements to identify it. The unnecessary coupling will result from distinguishing important behavior from its implementation.
Anticipation of Change
Software needs are always evolving, resulting in constant changes in requirements. The ability to adapt and adjust to change pleasantly is important in creating a strong software design.
The goal of great software design is to keep things simple. Each job has a module that may be used and modified independently. It makes the code more user-friendly and decreases the number of errors.
Sufficiency and Completeness
A good software design guarantees that the program is sufficient and comprehensive in terms of the requirements. It ensures that the program has been constructed properly and completely.
Types of software level design
There are three different levels of software design, including:
The architecture of a system can be defined as the system's general structure and the method in which that structure maintains the system's conceptual integrity. The architectural design recognizes the program as a system with numerous interconnected components. The designers acquire an overview of the suggested solution domain at this level.
Preliminary or high-level Design
The problem is broken down into a series of modules, with the control relationships between them recognized and the interfaces between them. The program architecture is the result of this step. Structure charts and UML are two design representation tools utilized at this level.
A comprehensive design is conducted when the high-level design is completed. Each module is carefully investigated to develop the data structure and algorithms in a detailed design. A module specification document documents the stage's conclusion.
Why is software design so important?
Design is the basic foundation for software development. It keeps the flow in line:
- Software with a better design is more adaptable. As a result, you can add a new component to the current program without impacting it.
- Reusability is improved by well-designed software. Because if you carefully adhere to design patterns, your program will be more modular, consisting of discrete components that each do a single purpose. As a result, these little components can be simply reused.·
Easy to Understand
Explaining projects to new hires/team members has always been a pain. However, if your design and documentation are strong, you can quickly explain the software's concept to your new team member.·
Cost-efficiency is Increased
You might be wondering how the cost of software is affected by design. Consider a case in which you and your team began developing software based on specific assumptions. Still, after completing half of it, you discover you've hit a roadblock and can no longer proceed with those assumptions. Now you'll have to reinstall the program, which will be quite pricey.
What are the Right Ways of Software Design?
To carry the design the right way here are some factors to consider:
Prototypes are used to reduce risk and uncertainty about:
- Profitability of the product under development
- Stability of performance of key technology
- Involvement or financing of the project
- Understanding the requirements
- The appearance and operation of the product and its usability
By showing users, consumers, and management something concrete and feasible, a prototype can help generate product support.
The prototype's nature and purpose, on the other hand, must be evident at all times. In general, if a prototype works, it should not be expected to be used in the final product. An exploratory, behavioral prototype, for example, created to quickly evaluate the user interface seldom becomes a robust, durable product.
The goal of the architectural analysis is to define a prospective architecture and limit the architectural approaches that can be utilized in the system. It's all about gathering knowledge from comparable systems or issue areas so that time isn't wasted "rediscovering architecture." This stage is bypassed in systems that already have a well-defined architecture. When building new and innovative systems, architectural analysis is especially useful.
System Behavior Analysis
This step helps in the behavioral descriptions supplied by the use cases developed during the requirements collecting stage into a collection of elements used to build the system.
Important questions to ask
It's not only about developing software when it comes to development. You must replace them regularly and keep them in perfect condition for a long time. So, please take a minute to consider the following questions and attempt to answer them.
- How easy was it to make changes to your code?
- Did a small code change produce a ripple effect for changes elsewhere in the code?
- Was your code hard to reuse?
- Was the software difficult to maintain after a release?
- Did they have a good design? Could the design be done better?
- Was there even a design at all?
It's not only about coding in good design. It's about sharing your software ideas with other developers, teams, and clients.
Helpful Tools for Software Design
Here're some of the best tools for Software designing.
Confluence and Jira users can use Draw.io to generate diagrams. Flowcharts, process diagrams, ER diagrams, and much more can be simply created. It also helps you create your shape library.
Jira is a powerful software development platform that allows you to plan, monitor, release, and report your projects. It also allows you to pick from various workflows or create your own. It's simple to combine with the tools you currently have.
Mockflow is a web-based wireframe tool that helps designers plan, construct, and share their designs. It's cloud-based and gives users access to a large library of fake components, icons, and stickers, among other things.
A web-based vector graphics editor and prototyping tool. It is said to be the most revolutionary graphics editing app that is taking over the world by storm. Figma allows its users to wireframe websites, design mobile app interfaces, prototype designs and craft social media posts.
Marvel delivers easy-to-use design and prototyping tools that assist software developers in quickly wireframing, creating, and prototyping.
It gives designers a place to share, organize, and collaborate on their work. Zeplin allows designers and engineers to work together more effectively.
The Software Design Process is the most important phase in developing efficient software since it is the first and most important step. It's a user-centered procedure. It prioritizes the needs, requirements, and constraints of the user. It is crucial for drawing people to the product and retaining their loyalty. One can create better, highly efficient, and user-friendly software designs by using numerous tools and rigorously following the software design process's several phases.
If you need the help of the right software development team then contact us at Selleo.