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Informal Systems

Some of my research involves developing methods and tools on informal rather than formal foundations.

While formal systems allow us to build a solid, rigorous, rational foundation for design, there are some problems:

  1. Formal systems development is a long term undertaking. It may be decades before real headway achieves practical improvements.
  2. Formal systems can be hard to understand. We're not used to thinking logically all the time. We often use intuition and judgement in place of logic. This means formal systems can seem extremely unintuitive - and therefore relatively useless - to the untrained. And yet, we must continue to engineer things.
  3. Formal systems are not tools and methods that can be used by practising designers. We need tools and methods now, not later, after formal systems for design have been established.

So, in addition to formal systems, it makes sense to develop in parallel various informal methods and tools that can improve a designer's lot in the near term.

Current topics in informal systems of interest to me include:

2015.01.09 11:13

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research/informal_systems.txt · Last modified: 2020.03.12 13:30 (external edit)