DDD Europe 2024 - Program

Distilling Your Personal Design Heuristics

Main Conference - Hands-on Lab


Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Thursday 30 from 14:30 until 16:30

(This is a hands-on lab with limited capacity)

A heuristic is something we try in an attempt to make forward progress in solving or understanding a design problem. We’ve all learned well-known patterns and practices (those are heuristics, too). And through experience we’ve absorbed and integrated countless (unnamed) personal heuristics. We fill in the gaps, and implicitly add to, enrich, and adapt any new design technique or practice to our design situation. You can grow as a designer by becoming more aware of your personal heuristics and those of your colleagues.

Come to this hands-on session if you want to try out techniques for distilling your personal design heuristics, evaluate shiny new heuristics you hear about, or improve your ability to explain your heuristics to others. In this hands-on session, we’ll share some cherished modeling, design, and testing heuristics. We’ll explore some “whys” behind why we have favorites. We’ll examine competing heuristics and their underlying values. And we’ll identify some cues that lead us to either adapt specific heuristics, discard them as not being good fits, or to seek out alternatives.


Familiarity with patterns. Curious about heuristics and how they relate to patterns and practices. Interested in being more intentional about design and modeling practices and preferences.

About Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

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.