Guide to Programming Series: Week 3
If the program will be for your personal use, you can pretty much make your program look and act any way you want but if you plan to give or sell it, give thought on how to make things user friendly.
If users have even the slightest complaint, they’re unlikely to use or keep on using it, whether or not it actually works. This is why putting yourself in the user’s perspective is important. Are the buttons too big? Is the font readable? Is the result what I expected? These are a few of the multitude of questions that you need answered to increase the odds that people use your program and (hopefully) buy a copy.
Always remember that your customer’s preference outweighs your own. Your goal as a developer to make your program meet your users’ demands, no matter how weird, bizarre, or illogical they may seem.
The target computer
Pick which platform you want or need to run your program on. Will it be a Windows-, Linux- or Mac-only?
If you’re writing a program to run on a Windows, for example, your program can take advantage of several built-in functionalities (such as the .NET framework) native to the OS. If you’re writing a program for both Windows AND Mac, brace yourself since you’re in for a major overhaul. Programs like Open Office and Firefox are well known because of this so-called Multi-platforming. Note that coding for the Windows and Mac versions of the said programs vary greatly due to the difference in their native OSs.
A portable program, on the other hand, is one that can be run on different computers (and different OSs) with little or no modification. This is the reason why so many people use C/C++ and Java to build their programs.
During the design stage of any program, consider your own programming skill. Even if a brilliant idea pops in your head, with little experience and some deeper background on your language of choice, writing your program may take a long time – if you don’t give up out of frustration first.
Your skill and experience determine the language that you pick for each project. An experienced programmer will look into aspects like portability while a novice will pick the easiest language to learn and use (unless it’s a necessity). Others still, take the easy approach and choose a much simpler language such as Visual Basic to create programs with little effort and very few backend (things that happen behind the scenes) coding.Programming Series