quarta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2008

A toolkit for user-centered design process

design process diagram

This Generic Work Process diagram is a very interesting and resourceful toolkit, that covers many phases of the design process. It not only displays the different stages of a user-centered design process, but also describes them; each phase has different tasks/methods, with a description, the purpose of using that particular method, and points out some references from which they researched about the method described. As the authors say, it’s an overview of the methods and techniques which can be used throughout the user-centered design process.

The research department (’lectoraat’) at Communication and Multimedia Design at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, with research professor Ingrid Mulder, has worked on this toolkit with a research group on Human Centered ICT. The project was presented by Bas Leurs during a workshop on November 12, 2008, in which various professionals from the field of education (mainly CMD Rotterdam), discussed and mapped the process of human-centered design, and the available methods and tools for the HCI process. (source: Institute of Network Cultures)

It’s very interest to note that the “user test” is a method that appears in each stage of the design process. It’s a common mistake to think about making user tests only when you have your product done, which is nice and important to do, but as it’s also the latest stage of the product development, it’s the most difficult time to make huge changes and correct problems that may arise from the tests. A practice of constantly testing your designs as it evolves is a more interesting approach, and this work process presented here suggests that either.

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