design for quality
I love smooth workflows, efficient practices and logical progressions. Before I worked with Drupal I'd gotten my workflow highly refined.
- define/clarify site needs and functionality (work with client, share proposals, present wire frames)
- produce a workable, extendable data model (usually in the form of a relational database)
- code business logic (usually a PHP app)
- design interface and presentation layer (XHTML and CSS)
- test and debug
- reiterate back through this process as necessary for maturity
I've been musing about the "systems" we, as people, work within daily.
Thinking specifically on the system implicit in providing web development and design services, the following points come to mind as contributing to a healthy system:
- No us/them dichotomy. Our clients are part of our systems (or we are part of theirs), and seeking for client feedback regarding "our" processes is informative and essential.
Last week I discovered I'd made a goof and transposed the order of month and day in a batch file running MySQL backups on a Windows server. So, instead of mybak20070523.sql being followed by mybak20070524.sql, I had about 90 files in order like mybak20072305.sql then mybak20072306.sql.
Having to traverse file system paths repeatedly (a common task facing web developers) is the virtual equivalent of lugging sacks of groceries up flights of stairs.
The scenario is this: a client emails a file ("Post this PDF on our site."). You choose to save the file and a dialog box opens either in My Documents or the last location you saved a file in this manner - perhaps another client's folder. So you start clicking. Let's go back to C:, then to "Program Files", to "Apache Group", then to "Apache 2" and ... so on ... and finally to "site-documents."