User-centered Design - UCD Models and Approaches

UCD Models and Approaches

For example, the user-centered design process can help software designers to fulfill the goal of a product engineered for their users. User requirements are considered right from the beginning and included into the whole product cycle. These requirements are noted and refined through investigative methods including: ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, prototype testing, usability testing and other methods. Generative methods may also be used including: card sorting, affinity diagraming and participatory design sessions. In addition, user requirements can be inferred by careful analysis of usable products similar to the product being designed.

  • Cooperative design: involving designers and users on an equal footing. This is the Scandinavian tradition of design of IT artifacts and it has been evolving since 1970.
  • Participatory design (PD), a North American term for the same concept, inspired by Cooperative Design, focusing on the participation of users. Since 1990, there has been a bi-annual Participatory Design Conference.
  • Contextual design, “customer-centered design” in the actual context, including some ideas from Participatory design

All these approaches follow the ISO standard Human-centred design for interactive systems (ISO 9241-210, 2010).

The ISO standard describes 6 key principles that will ensure a design is user centred:

  1. The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments.
  2. Users are involved throughout design and development.
  3. The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation.
  4. The process is iterative.
  5. The design addresses the whole user experience.
  6. The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.

Read more about this topic:  User-centered Design

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