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Design Heresy
jducoeur wrote in querki_project
It occurs to me that, as I work on the Poker Encyclopedia and make enhancements (I'm on my third release today), it's worth stating my somewhat heretical approach to Querki's design and feature set.

For the time being, I'm designing Querki rather the same way I build code nowadays: fast turnaround, lots of experiments, and constant refactoring. Basically, I'm adding features, using the system every day, trying things out, and whenever I find myself saying, "That's annoying" or "Humph -- I expected that to work", I immediately change it. (Or at least, toss a high-priority To Do into the Story Stack.)

That isn't to say that I'm not doing any upfront design: I'm sketching out my plans in the Story Stack to a pretty deep degree, and I'm *mostly* proceeding as planned. But I'm not going to pretend that I have the skills or cycles to get the design entirely correct on the first try, and I'm not spending much time angsting when the design proves inadequate -- in general, I'm turning things around very quickly.

I mention this mostly as a gentle warning to the folks who I'll be asking to try the system out first -- expect the first six months to involve a *lot* of constant evolution. It won't be gratuitous, and it'll tend to be enhancements more than changes. But I'm basically treating the live site as a sort of living prototype for the time being: instead of wireframes and paper prototypes, I'm simply implementing stuff and seeing how it works in practice. I hope some of you will be willing to join in as partners in this initial experimental stage. There *will* be a constant annoyance of things changing out from under you every week (sometimes several times a day), but hopefully it'll mostly be progress for the better, and you'll get to have a lot of input on where that evolution goes.

And yes, I'm well aware that I won't be able to keep going this way in the long run. By the time we get to public beta, changes will have to be *much* more carefully controlled, and I expect system evolution to slow *way* down. But I'm trying to get things as right as possible, as quickly as possible, before we get to that point.

(I mention this in part because I realized this morning that we're getting to the point where I need to write the invite system and start bringing other folks in to play. With any luck, I'll be looking for volunteers in a couple of weeks...)


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