Processes and Methods for User-Centered Design (UCD)

Note: Recently, some prefer the term Human-Centered Design in order to consider all stakeholders. In either case, the goal is to meet the needs of people as opposed to designing the system around technological capabilities.

Principles for User-centered design (adapted from Gould and Lewis)

  1. Early focus on users and tasks
  2. Empirical measurement (and testing) of product usage
  3. Iterative design

Course text (Designed for Use by Lukas Mathis)

  1. Research (includes Interviews and Personas)
  2. Design (includes Sketching and Prototyping)
  3. Implementation (includes usability testing)

Rosson and Carroll (Usability Engineering)

  • Scenario-based design -- develop concrete stories to describe users and needs and motivate the design
  • Explicitly list trade-offs when developing an interactive system
  • Steps in the design process
    • Requirements analysis: create problem scenarios
    • Activity design
    • Information design
    • Interaction design
    • Prototyping
    • Evaluation

The software life cycle (presented in Human-Computer Interaction by Dix, Finley, Abowd and Beale

  • Requirements specification
  • Architectural design
  • Detailed design
  • Coding and unit testing
  • Integration and testing
  • Operation and maintenance

Discussion items:

  • How do these processes correspond to each other? Are they consistent with each other? Are there any implied differences among the processes?
  • How are these processes actually practiced?