Copenhagen, Denmark

Software Design

Language: EnglishStudies in English
Subject area: computer science
ECTS: 120
University website:
Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases, the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, coding, and graphic design) is also considered to use design thinking.
Computer software, or simply software, is a part of a computer system that consists of data or computer instructions, in contrast to the physical hardware from which the system is built. In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all information processed by computer systems, programs and data. Computer software includes computer programs, libraries and related non-executable data, such as online documentation or digital media. Computer hardware and software require each other and neither can be realistically used on its own.
If the chief rules of good design were understood by the masses as they might be, nothing would do more to promote beauty, improve workmanship, add to the value of manufactures, and in many other ways further the general welfare and prosperity of the country. They are simple, easy to acquire, and should be taught with the alphabet.
Ernest Flagg, Small Houses: Their Economic Design and Construction (1922)
Good design is also an act of communication between the designer and the user, except that all the communication has to come about by the appearance of the device itself. The device must explain itself.
Donald Norman (2002), The Design of Everyday Things, Introduction to the 2002 Edition
One of the difficulties in thinking about software is its huge variety. A function definition in a spreadsheet cell is software. A smartphone app is software. The flight management system for an Airbus A380 is software. A word processor is software. We shouldn't expect a single discipline of software engineering to cover all of these, any more than we expect a single discipline of manufacturing to cover everything from the Airbus A380 to the production of chocolate bars, or a single discipline of social organization to cover everything from the United Nations to a kindergarten. Improvement in software engineering must come bottom-up, from intense specialized attention to particular products.
Michael A. Jackson in: K. De Grave (ed.) Formalism & Intuition in Software Development; A conversation with Michael A. Jackson conducted by Edgar G. Daylight and Bas van Vlijmen. 2015
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