From the Real to the Virtual: Developing Improved Software Using Design Thinking

Julian Malins, Fiona Maciver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


We all have our favourite software applications that we are most familiar with, and our least favourite, which we find frustrating and difficult to use. This chapter addresses how applying a methodological approach based on design thinking can be used to identify opportunities for the development of effective software applications and their subsequent design and evaluation. It begins by reviewing the concept of design thinking in order to provide a framework for the subsequent discussion. Much of the current software that we take for granted has either evolved from a period when computers were not much more than sophisticated adding machines, or by attempting to provide a virtual analogue of the real world in a digital format. A number of the more established applications are now beginning to creak at the seams and don’t meet our contemporary needs as the applications attempt to include more and more features. This chapter considers ways in which we can interrogate the real world in order to identify new opportunities and new approaches for developing applications and interfaces. It considers what criteria should be used to assess the effectiveness of a software application. The chapter reviews design thinking as an approach that can inform the development process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaboration in Creative Design
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Tools
EditorsPanos Markopoulos, Jean-Bernard Martens, Julian Malins, Karin Coninx, Aggelos Liapis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319291550
ISBN (Print)9783319291536
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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