Threads for azhenley

  1. 33

    A desktop program that monitors my clipboard for URLs and logs them automatically.

    All the other concerns are not part of the original ask. I think for someone who knows these APIs, 2 hours to working prototype is totally doable. The biggest question in my mind: why does the author assume all of those extras are necessary before knowing whether or not they’ll even find value in the simplest possible thing?

    1. 17

      Don’t go implement every feature idea you come up with from this exercise!

      I explicitly said not to go implement all of these features. It is a quick thought experiment to find the design decisions that are important to you/your users before making plans and estimates.

      1. 18

        I get that. My problem is that it’s easy to go so off the rails in brainstorming that you miss the fact that the most basic thing is stupid anyway. You can always complicate later, but if you complicate too soon, you might convince yourself it’s not worth it.

        1. 8

          if you complicate too soon, you might convince yourself it’s not worth it.

          That might be a good thing. You’re assuming the only way to know if you need the complication is to first build the simplest possible thing™. That might be true, and prototypes are often illuminating. But it’s not necessarily true. Often you can think through something and realize that, you know what, this really isn’t worth it unless I also have A, B, and C features, and those are actually harder than I thought.

          There are fine lines between and intuitive judgements needed to balance motivation, analysis-paralysis, and coding-without-a-plan. The errors in each direction are real.

          1. 2

            There are fine lines between and intuitive judgements needed to balance motivation, analysis-paralysis, and coding-without-a-plan. The errors in each direction are real.

            This is very well stated, and I completely agree with your comment.

        2. 1

          I disagree as well, I think having your students build a prototype in 2 hours is even more valuable then product-izing the whole thing. You don’t even know your own requirements until after you’ve spent a day or two with the prototype to see if it actually scratches your itch.

          You (the customer) could decide that you had an X - Y problem all along (I said I wanted to know all the URLs from my clipboard, but what I actually wanted was the ability to search my chat history).

          Any widget can expand into a million development hours of wondiferous UI and integrations, that’s not surprising. If anything I would take this design exercise with the students and then turn it around one more time to teach a lesson about scope creep. (Ok, we did all this, now take 3 hours to build your 2 hour prototype, and don’t paint yourself into a corner).

          1. 10

            I’d rather spend 10-20 minutes going through this exercise and asking questions about what features are needed, then building a prototype. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.