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Growing Your Personal Design Heuristics

YOW! 2019 Brisbane

The ouroboros is a mythical serpent shaped into a circle, clinging to and devouring its tail in an endless cycle of self-destruction, self-creation, and self-renewal. Becoming a good designer of software sometimes feels like that. Cultivating and refining personal design heuristics is one way we become better software designers.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we each use heuristics that we have acquired through reading, practice, and experience. Heuristics aid in design, guide our use of other heuristics, and even determine our attitude and behavior. You can grow as a designer by becoming more conscious of your heuristics. What are your “go to” heuristics? How well have they worked? Do your successes or failures lead you look to discover new heuristics? While you may read others’ design advice—be it patterns, blog posts, books or stack overflow replies, the heuristics you personally discover on your own design journey are likely to be the most important.

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Consultant, Inventor of Responsibility-Driven Design & xDD

Wirfs-Brock Associates

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock is an object design pioneer who invented the set of design practices known as responsibility-driven design (RDD) and by accident started the x-driven d...