When specifying the design of software, software engineers and architects - unintentionally or intentionally - follow design best practices. In order to identify practices that are considered to be important, a survey has been conducted.

In this survey, we aimed at identifying the importance of different object-oriented design best practices – design rules – from a broad perspective. Finally, 214 people from different application domains and from companies of different size participated. In average, each design best practices has been assessed by at least 138 participants. These assessments were used to derive an importance level for each rule. The top-five and very important ones are shown below:

  • AvoidDuplicates
  • AvoidUsingSubtypesInSupertypes
  • AvoidPackageCycles
  • AvoidCommandsInQueryMethods
  • AvoidPublicFields

A summary of the survey results can be downloaded here. For further information please contact Reinhold Plösch or Johannes Bräuer.


This survey was conducted in the context of the Object-Oriented Design Quality project.

Survey on Importance of Design Best Practices