Software design is a process to transform user requirements into some suitable form, which helps the programmer in software coding and implementation.
For assessing user requirements, an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document is created whereas for coding and implementation, there is a need of more specific and detailed requirements in software terms. The output of this process can directly be used into implementation in programming languages.
Software design is the first step in SDLC (Software Design Life Cycle), which moves the concentration from problem domain to solution domain. It tries to specify how to fulfill the requirements mentioned in SRS.
Software Design Levels Software design yields three levels of results:
Architectural Design – The architectural design is the highest abstract version of the system. It identifies the software as a system with many components interacting with each other. At this level, the designers get the idea of proposed solution domain.
High-level Design- The high-level design breaks the ‘single entity-multiple component’ concept of architectural design into less-abstracted view of sub-systems and modules and depicts their interaction with each other. High-level design focuses on how the system along with all of its components can be implemented in forms of modules. It recognizes modular structure of each sub-system and their relation and interaction among each other.
Detailed Design- Detailed design deals with the implementation part of what is seen as a system and its sub-systems in the previous two designs. It is more detailed towards modules and their implementations. It defines logical structure of each module and their interfaces to communicate with other modules.
Design Verification The output of software design process is design documentation, pseudo codes, detailed logic diagrams, process diagrams, and detailed description of all functional or non-functional requirements.
The next phase, which is the implementation of software, depends on all outputs mentioned above.
It then becomes necessary to verify the output before proceeding to the next phase. The early any mistake is detected, the better it is or it might not be detected until testing of the product. If the outputs of design phase are in formal notation form, then their associated tools for verification should be used otherwise a thorough design review can be used for verification and validation.