Writing design specs

Subject: Writing design specs
From: Kristen Black <kblack -at- ITSNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:49:34 -0700

I've been asked to document the programming process of a new piece of
software. The only work that's been done on the project so far has been
done by the man in charge. He's designing the interface/screens in Access;
they'll soon be ported to Oracle when the programmers go to work on it.
What I need to do is document the flow and the details of the screens so
that the programmers have something to work from. I've created a flow
chart, tables that list all the screen elements, and a simple process
document, but what I need help with is the format of the whole thing--as in
information on creating design documents. I've been in on the design
process of other products, but they were completely different (word
processing software, graphics packages, web development software, etc.) The
other products were more modular, where this one is linear. It tracks a
credit application through the data entry stage through several decisions
until a credit card is issued or denied. It's pretty complex.

Have any of you ever written the design specs from the ground up? What
format did you use? What was most effective? I can use what I've put
together, but somehow I think that there might be a better way to organize
it all.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on.

Kristen Black
Freelance Editor, Writer, and Indexer
kblack -at- itsnet -dot- com

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