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RVS_Spinner reviews and mentions
Ask HN: How to get developers and UI designers to work well together
5 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 19 Jul 2022
I have had quite a bit of experience with this.
I'm primarily a native Apple application developer, but have done some backend stuff, as well. I have designed numerous Web sites, but I am not a particularly skilled Web designer.
I was, in the days of yore, an artist. I have also taken numerous design and usability course, from the likes of NNG (Nielsen-Norman Group).
I have designed a bunch of fancy widgets[0 - 4]. I actually use very few of them, because they are too intrusive.
I am in the "refining UX" stage of an iOS app that I've been developing for the last year and a half, or so. I'm working with designers and testers, to clean up the information architecture, interaction, usability, aesthetic design, and accessibility.
For me, the most valuable technique, has been rapid, high-quality prototyping. I have been abusing Apple's TestFlight beta release system, and have been using it to make regular (usually, a couple a day) releases to the rest of the team, who are mostly non-tech people. I've made over 600 releases. The first release was made less than a month after first code submission.
The way I use it, is that I run what I call "constant beta." The app is always at "ship" Quality, even if incomplete. This means that the code people get, is fully operational, for the currently developed feature set.
This has the advantage of constant vetting by Apple. They don't test TestFlight to the same level as the App Store, but they look for things like unsupported API usage, code signing issues, and obvious quality issues (like crashes). In at least one case, their testing found a crash that I missed.
Once the first release for a version has been vetted (takes a day or so), subsequent build releases, within that version are approved almost immediately, so I get quick turnaround.
If the testers encounter crashes, I get a fairly useless report. If I use a Ouija board, I can often figure out the general part of the application affected.
With this workflow, we can have a highly iterative process, with aesthetics, usability, and general UX, being tested, almost from the start.
I'm pretty good at interpreting designs. I can accept Figma, Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, Napkin Sketch, or Hand-Wavy Verbal Description, and turn it into UX. I usually have something for the designers to try out, within minutes.
Most of the actual code assets are generated via Illustrator, and I will often redesign raster art, into vector.
The designers and non-tech stakeholders seem to like it.
Tips for Making a Popular Open-Source Project in 2021 [Ultimate Guide]
12 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Nov 2021
The True Meaning of Technical Debt
3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 13 Apr 2021
It's an interesting article, and I appreciate the readability (good formatting, images, etc.).
Personally, I am absolutely against any kind of debt. It has served me well, but has also given me a personally humble lifestyle. I also worked for a 100-year-old Japanese corporation that was (and still is) ferociously debt-averse. Personally, I feel that my debt-aversion has been a great asset. I'm not so sure that debt-aversion was as good for the corporation I worked for.
But then, "good" is relative. They are 100 years old. That's pretty badass. They got to be 100 by being risk-averse, and building on a robust foundation. But they are also relatively small. Their aversion to debt meant that competitors passed them by, in Ferraris, while they were chugging along in their trusty Volvo.
Often passing flaming, expensive wrecks...
But I digress. It also made it a huge pain to develop software for these folks. I feel as if there was so much design (that yellow curve), that the software suitability suffered.
I consider tech debt to be anything that we say "We'll deal with that down the road." It's really that simple. It may be high issue counts, inflexible design, usability issues, resource usage, cost to maintain, etc.
The word "debt" has a lot of shame attached to it. When I first got married, we needed to use a significant portion of our wedding presents to pay off the credit card debt that I brought into the relationship. That was something that caused me great shame, and was a principal motivator for my "live humble and debt-free" philosophy, thereafter. I have never carried a balance on credit cards, since. So I have a ridiculously high credit score, but I probably would have a hard time actually borrowing money (so I'm told. I haven't actually tried -the mortgage for my house, and leasing cars has never been an issue).
"Tech debt," as the author states, is also often assumed to be the result of "poor code." There's a lot of really badly-written code out there, but much of it is relatively debt-free, due to being tested, encapsulated, and well-maintained. It wasn't allowed past the velvet rope, until it had cleaned up its act.
I've also shitcanned dependencies that had well-written code, unit tests, eye-candy Web sites, and great presentation, but suffered serious bugs.
Usability and localization are the things that have resulted in a couple of bent-nose guys telling me how it would be a shame if anything would happen to my kneecaps. Usability, in particular, is a killer. I have designed, implemented, then removed, some pretty fancy widgets, because they proved to be nice on paper, but unsuitable to my needs in practice. An example is my RVS_Spinner widget. My RVS_Checkbox widget, on the other hand, has proven to be marvelously useful.
When it comes to usability, in my experience, there's absolutely no substitute for actually putting the code out there, and letting people play with it. Early beta-testing is crucial, and I have found that it's also important that the code be full ship-quality; not lash-up-test quality. That's because, if Management likes the demo, it becomes ship code; whether or not I want it to be so. It also means that, if rejected, I toss out ship-quality code. Sometimes, I may keep the code, and polish it up for future use (that's one reason that I have so many small module packages out there).
Localization and security, in my experience, are things that are easy to manage, if baked in from the start, and a fang-toothed nightmare, if added after the fact. So not dealing with those from the start, is an example of "I'll deal with that down the road," that I can live to regret.
Since leaving my last employer, I have been experimenting with what I term "ultra-agile" development techniques. I despise tech debt, so I am trying to figure out how to get "the best of both worlds." The results, so far, have been promising, but my scale is, by necessity, fairly small.
But that's just my experience. YMMV.
A note from our sponsor - SonarLint
www.sonarlint.org | 21 Mar 2023
RiftValleySoftware/RVS_Spinner is an open source project licensed under MIT License which is an OSI approved license.