How Pain driven development(design) (PDD) can be used as an extension to Hypothesis driven development (design) (HDD)

Earlier I wrote a little bit about HDD (Hypothesis Driven Development) and also how you can use it as an example with Microsoft .Net and JavaScript. This time I will talk about something that can be used as an extension to HDD.

In the topic I added the word (design) after the word development. I did this for a purpose. When we talk about development we usually refer it to just code, but the whole process even if it’s visual design or system design you develop something. But sometimes organizations just do design or work on just the visual design. The process is the same even if it’s in code or in the visual design or even on a paper.

While HDD is a story about an assumption/idea that we need to measure to see if it’s worth implementing. Pain Driven Development is an extension when your product enters the state of management. You will still use HDD for new features but PDD when you need to understand how you can make your features better.

“If you can identify something that is causing people pain and you can develop a product that takes that pain away, that product is very likely to be successful. The goal is to find the most important pain point and then to find a way to solve that pain for people in a usable way that doesn’t actually cause them more pain.” – Laura Klein
PDD is when you focus on the pain and frustration your application generates for the user. The question you ask the user is:

– How does the function make you feel?
– What is complicated with the application?
– What can make your work easier so it wont generate frustration or irritation using it?

You can use PDD as the process to make the application easier for the user. And of course HDD to test the hypothesis of the ideas you get from the PDD process. They are very nice to use as a synergy to each other. And the result will mostly give the user what they want.

If you use it in your development process, it’s fine. If a developer scream WTF (you know the WTF / minute principle right?)


Code shall be easy to understand, easy to use. With PDD as a part of your code quality process you can easily find pain points that probably need to be fixed as soon as possible or in a near future.

You can also use PDD in your organization. Isn’t it a real pain that you only got 2 toilets for 100 people? 😉 You get the point.


Who is Johan Normén?

Johan Normén works as a speaker, mentor, team leader, agile coach, and senior .net developer at Softhouse in Gothenburg Sweden. He has over 18 years business experienced and worked in many different projects and roles. Was one of the creators of Swenug (Sweden .Net User Group) with over 3000 members all over the country. He started the computer era as game designer at the age of 12 with his Amiga and team. He has been nominated as the top 10 developers in Sweden in the Swedish version of Computer Sweden 2015

Twitter: @johannormen



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