Design prototype above all – Function follows form

Settle to a development framework, I say to myself, in recent past I believed form follows function was a great approach to develop web applications. But our brain is wired such that the real function of the realistic application is somewhere hidden inside our mind. Once the function is ready and later when we design, tons of features, logic, navigation, routes and relationships looks a miss out.

In some cases at design stages we feel the logic is incorrect and the entire application requires rethink and re-looked. In addition, pain to developer and multiple communication loops only adds to existing chaos.

This is why I believe “Function follows form” is a great alternative to application development process. This approach helps us to deliberate on actual requirements, feature list, navigation and routes, application logic and data relationships very early during the development stage.

Trust me, this approach is hard. Television, book reading, holidays and family time all takes a back seat while you change the world. Constantly your mind drags you to the next best feature you want to incorporate in your design or the application logic you need to define. Application logic still stays into documentation to a large extent but by now you are clear with your requirements.

In this advent of technological advanced era, believe me you don’t need millions of cash, costly hardware and expensive tutorials. What you need is a design framework such as Twitter bootstrap, Foundation, Gumby and its likes and self motivation. You could learn about twitter bootstrap in couple of hours and jump right into the app design. It is that easy.

Function can always be integrated later with the language of your choice. My personal preferences are Ruby on Rails, Python on Django, Meteor JS, Angular JS and PHP.

For a beginner most seems difficult, there will be phases where we feel that things are not working but then there is Google and Stack overflow.

Scratch your own itch – You won’t believe, I spent more than 20 minutes to figure out how images are embedded in the HTML but eventually I figured out that the answer was exclusion of double quotes. I spent 30 minutes to figure out how to integrate dashboard in my design and I found them on Google in-house developed visualization API’s to satisfy my design needs.

There is no limit as to what you can achieve, so go ahead learn few frameworks, kick some tires and dive right into app creation from scratch.

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