What is Object-Oriented Design?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
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  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Object-oriented design (OOD) is a special kind of software design that developed to replace simple linear code with a kind of code that adheres to more complex conventions. In object oriented design, code relates to a specific “object,” and conceptually “fits inside” that object to provide for specific user operations or other conditions. Object-oriented design is also called object oriented programming (OOP).

Object-oriented design has driven the development of many new technologies including those related to Microsoft Visual Basic and the C Suite (C, C++, C#) of programming languages that are still very much in use today. As a conceptual model for better software code conventions, object oriented programming is perfect for the kind of visual applications often crafted in Visual Basic, which are commonly used in Windows operating systems. Object oriented analysis can also provide a better way of looking at “raw code” to understand what is at work in a specific program or application.

An example of object-oriented design involves the various buttons, text boxes, picture boxes, etc. that are programmed into visual applications. Each of these “objects” can contain its own specific code that governs the behavior or use of that object. Programmers can further separate various instances of an object into “classes” that can be operated on by functions or other code modules.


In object-oriented design, a system sequence diagram can be useful. These diagrams operate according to a Unified Modeling Language. A system sequence diagram (SSD) shows various events driven by “actors” that help to define the behaviors and uses of objects in a program.

As a more versatile form of code than the older linear systems that developed with primitive software like BASIC and FORTRAN, object oriented programming is likely to continue to drive technological advances in software design. Along with coding languages like XML and other markup languages, object oriented programming can drive both highly conceptual and highly functional programs. This kind of software design contributes to a philosophy of creating virtual objects that will serve the IT community well in efforts to isolate and improve on various software functions, or model software to mimic events in the physical world. Meanwhile, object-oriented programming has become a standard convention that is universally useful in the computer programming community.


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