Ingredients to designing products like cities

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To developers, the most conspicuous difference between Web-based and desktop software is that a Web-based application is not a single piece of code. It will be a collection of programs of different types rather than a single big binary. And so designing Web-based software is like desiging a city rather than a building: as well as buildings you need roads, street signs, utilities, police and fire departments, and plans for both growth and various kinds of disasters.

A day will come when you’ll no longer need to design a login form — just use and customize an already created one. Unless login is one of the most crucial ingredients to the success of your business.

I see designers in the industry getting to the ‘city design’ level. Not worrying about perfecting the parts of the product that need to be carefully crafted too.

Coders have that for a lot of things already. UX community, in close collaboration with engineers has to provide great building blocks and infrastructure elements that are expected to be found in the best cities.

I can easily see the appearance of specialized shops that create ‘bridges, landscaping, furniture’ for the ‘cities’ we design.

If you are a small startup, you don’t have to resort to a crappy login and password restore UX. You have to be able to pay and get a great one from a shop that does those well.

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