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:
- The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments.
- Users are involved throughout design and development.
- The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation.
- The process is iterative.
- The design addresses the whole user experience.
- The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.
Read more about this topic: User-centered Design
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