Winning solutions are usable. They may not be perfect. They may not win design awards from fancy committees where people dress in black, sip champagne , and pontificate on issues like "convergence." But they are usable: With them users can accomplish necessary tasks easily, efficiently , and with a minimum of errors. They enable users to achieve their goals with little, if any, frustration.
I've already touched on two important but overlooked aspects of usability: deployment and integration/extension architectures. Subsequent chapters will focus on usability in the context of operations and maintenancenotably, installations and upgrades. This chapter briefly explores some other important aspects of usability, concentrating on performance and scalability. Simply put, just about everything the tarchitect does affects usability in one way or another. Gaining an appreciation of usability, of how architectural decisions affect it, and of how it affects architecture, is critical to creating winning solutions.
As you read this chapter, keep in mind that usability is a very large topic, and several terrific books have been written about it. Even if you've read other books, however, you'll find this chapter useful because it discusses usability in the context of a winning solution. My primary focus is how tarchitecture impacts usability, with an emphasis on performance factors. This differs from books that address process or technology.