Programming and Design – the relation is stronger than I thought..

I am a Computer Engineering student, with an interest in Design. I have just started my journey in UX Design. Initially, I felt like – these four years I am spending studying Computer Engineering, is it really going to have a significant impact as far as UX is concerned? Of course it is making me more aware about how stuff works, new technologies and latest trends, but how will it help me design better? It almost made me lose interest in studying the subjects in our curriculum.

I was so wrong.

Recently, I took part in an App Design contest. The initial phase of the contest was to submit a brief description about the structure of the app and its features, the next phase being wireframe development. When me and my teammate started brainstorming for the first phase, I unconsciously started referring to our ideas in terms like primary entities, their attributes and their relations with each other. After a while I realised that it was very much similar to the way we decide the objects, their attributes and relations while designing an object oriented system. It transformed our ideas into a clear, easy to understand system. Thinking about what information is to be displayed and how it must be represented became much simpler, the linking of different elements became more distinct.

We had learnt object oriented programming in our course, I don’t know if that was the reason behind this style of my thinking, but I was definitely a bit surprised. Later on, I searched about whether professional UX designers follow this style of thinking and many actually do. I came across this fantastic article by Sophia Voychehovski, in which she has incorporated this object oriented approach in her design process, and has described the process with the help of an example.

The result? I started studying Object Oriented Design again with great interest. :P

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