User Interface Development

My process on working with customers on developing UI and Excel/file outputs:

Before starting any work or with only exploratory work, make sure the customer gives you mocks. If the customer don't give you mocks in a reasonable time, give the customer mocks and ask for a review. If the customer provides you with mocks and those mocks are unclear, review the mocks and ask for clarifications.

When architecting your code, ask yourself "What kinds of changes will the customer want?" Do your best to make these modifications possible by just changing a configuration or a single line of code. It should be very easy to make changes that you expect to be likely. For example, moving cell data around in a freeform Excel sheet or adding new columns to a table.

Your user interface or excel file will become a bikeshed. Bikeshedding is doubly likely for tables, Excel documents or anything an office worker is likely to have strong opinions on.

Always ask for changes/tweaks in writing at the end of a meeting. It's important to write them down so everyone agrees on what's being done.

Beware vague language. "This", "it", "they" are words you should avoid when clarifying in any development process.


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