Design principles to follow

We apply design-thinking in the development of the Open Data Product Specification. Early in the development 9 design principles were defined. Design principles are crucial in developing a standard because they provide a framework for creating a standard that is clear, consistent, user-friendly, interoperable, secure, and adaptable. They help ensure that the standard serves its intended purpose effectively and stands the test of time.

Some of the principles are no-brainers but need to be stated. Some principles are easy to follow while for example “make it hard to misuse” is a balancing act. Making something hard to misuse can require strict rules and details, but at the same time ODPS is not aiming for perfection, it is driven by “must be practical”.

Reusing existing solutions has included also looking at what works in DCAT and other standards. One of the key principles is the Developer eXperience. Onboarding the standard, “getting it” easily without a week-long study, and a short path to apply is very important for the ODPS.

“Make it long-lasting” manifests in practice by using clear versioning (SemVer) and having a Governance model. We have spent hundreds of hours studying the landscape of data economy, data-driven value delivery, and existing solutions. Internally we have had hundreds of hours of debates and an uncountable number of tests to find the best possible approach to solve problems at specification level. This is how “Do the hard work to make it simple” manifests in our lives.

The value of having design principles has been priceless. It has at the same time made our lives easier, but also occasionally harder. What seems to be the result based on early evidence is that the design principles work and guide us towards easy-to-understand and value-creating standard. And that is all that counts. The Design principles are also part of the ODPS Governance model.

The bottom-up approach to serving the needs of the practitioners

Take a look at the Open Data Product Specification model and provide feedback (Github issues, links provided in specification). Our principle is that development ideas must come from the practitioners, their needs drive the development of ODPS, not bureaucrats or people in ivory towers. The maintainers of ODPS are here to serve the needs of the business and practitioners.

Last updated