A Picture is Worth 1000 Lines of Code – Using Interaction Diagrams to improve communication between developers, designers, and managers

As developers, we often start coding to requirements that mostly meet what we need to build our products. Frequently we work with a “happy path” design that leaves out error handling, network delays, and other important factors. As we discover these holes, designs change which forces code rework, schedules slip due to unplanned effort, and sometimes productivity and morale suffer as a result.

Interaction Diagrams capture the connections between design and code. This provides a succinct way for all members of your team to visualize the interactions between the UI, API calls, asynchronous operations, and more. Missing UI for error handling, waiting states, missing navigation paths, etc are made more visible, and can be brought to the forefront early in the product development cycle. In this talk I will present a series of practical steps to create and use Interaction Diagrams in your projects.

Just like “A picture is worth 1000 words”, using Interaction Diagrams can help capture missing complexity and foster communication between teams – leading to less code rework through more comprehensive requirements and better designs – and hopefully making us all happier people.