Design Heuristic Hunting

Thursday afternoon 14:00 - 16:00 CET (UTC+1)


Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Kenny Baas-Schwegler


How can we get better as software designers?

By becoming more aware of our design heuristics and be intentional as we cultivate and refine them. Heuristics aid in the design and even determine our attitude and behaviour. For example, agile developers value frequent feedback and decomposing larger design problems into smaller, more manageable chunks that they design and test as they go. We each have our own (often implicit) heuristics that we have acquired through reading, practice, and experience. Let us share these heuristics during a modelling session!

You’ll be presented with a modelling problem that you will try to design in groups. During designing, we will rotate observers that will capture and map heuristics they see happening. After the heuristics are captured, groups will exchange and try-out other groups heuristics, to switch thinking during design. Finally, we will wrap-up with the whole group explaining and sharing the key heuristics used in each group.

About Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

heuristics hunter and Driven-Design meme inventor Twitter LinkedIn Blog Company Website

I’m best known as the “design geek” who invented Responsibility-Driven Design and the xDriven meme (think TDD, BDD, DDD..). I’m keen on learning and sharing design heuristics, patterns and practices for architecting and reducing risk and improving quality on agile projects and programs. I’m a slow jogger… if anyone is interested in an early morning slow jog, it’d be fun to meet and go on a run.

About Kenny Baas-Schwegler

Socio-technical organisation designer and software architect Twitter LinkedIn Blog Company Website

A lot of knowledge is lost when designing and building software — lost because of hand-overs in a telephone game, confusing communication by not having a shared language, discussing complexity without visualisation and by not leveraging the full potential and wisdom of the diversity of the people. That lost knowledge while creating software impacts the sustainability, quality and value of the software product. Kenny Baas-Schwegler is a socio-technical organisation designer and software architect. He blends IT approaches like Domain-Driven Design and Continuous Delivery and facilitates change through using visual collaboration practices, the Cynefin framework and Deep Democracy. Kenny empowers and collaboratively enables organisations, teams and groups of people in designing and building sustainable quality software products.

One of Kenny’s core principles is sharing knowledge. He does that by writing a blog on his website and helping curate the Leanpub book visual collaboration tool. Besides writing, he also shares experience in the Domain-Driven Design community as an organiser of Virtual Domain-Driven Design ( and Domain Driven Design Nederland. He enjoys being a public speaker by giving talks and hands-on workshops at conferences and meetups.