“You’ve done your best when people don’t notice what you’ve done” is an adage that applies to designers in nearly any field. Game designers have created a body of work that can serve as a model for all software designers, whether they’re creating apps, websites, or anything else.
Software is a strange beast, and we often try to wrestle with it by pretending that it works like a Math or a Science. But deep down — in the grit of the day-to-day, beneath the architecture and the correctness proofs, we know that it really works by a different method. Let’s talk about how code can be a type of writing, and how we might use literary techniques to shape our software.
I have spent the last three years working on, primarily by myself in my spare time, a web app called Stellar, which collects your social media favorites all in one place. It was easy to build and also difficult to build. I’ll share what I’ve learned while building it and what I’m still struggling with. And maybe we can help each other figure out how to make it easy for more people to make their own apps and what to do with them once they’re out in the world.