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RE: UCD Description for SWUIWiki "How To" section

From: Laura L. Downey <ldowney@lternet.edu>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 14:46:14 -0600
To: 'Roberto García' <rogargon@gmail.com>, <public-semweb-ui@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003401c7a3c4$ccf5d950$a47c1881@LTERNET164>

Well this is timely. :-)  I was just thinking how best to deal with some
issues in the methodology section also and zapped a note off to Lloyd and
Duane because I didn't know who had written the first draft or what the
proper procedure for adding/changing things might be. 

I don't want to step on any toes.

I don't know if we need details about how to achieve UCD but more a brief
definition of it, the four general phases (analysis, design, implementation,
deployment) and that evaluation occurs across all phases.

I do like the idea of including those three evaluation categories though
because those are the kinds of things people would hopefully be reporting in
their SWUI papers.  And the three categories are a nice description with

Laura L. Downey
Senior Usability Engineer
LTER Network Office
Department of Biology, MSC03 2020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001
505.277.3157 office
505.610.9657 mobile
505.277-2541 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Roberto García
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:27 PM
To: public-semweb-ui@w3.org
Subject: UCD Description for SWUIWiki "How To" section

Dear all,

Before adding the following text to the "How To" section of the
SWUIWiki, I would appreciate your comments about the following
description of User Centred Design (UCD). Do you think it is


User-Centred Design

The methodology for developing usable and accessible applications is
called User-Centred Design (UCD). It is based on an iterative
development process based on a detailed study of the users' needs, the
tasks they carry on in order to meet them and the context in which
they are performed (Norman 1986). There are many UCD development
processes proposals, but all of them provide a mix of software
engineering plus usability and accessibility engineering tasks. One
particular proposal, which combines both disciplines in a neat way
thus facilitating its adoption, is the usability and accessibility
Engineering Process Model (MPIu+a) sketched in Figure 1 (Granollers


Fig. 1. Usability and accessibility Engineering Process Model (MPIu+a)

This UCD proposal, as other software development processes, starts
with the requirements gathering phase. However, the emphasis is placed
on users. First of all, it is important to know who the users are.
Then, the following step is to identify the tasks they are going to

The development process continues with the common phases, i.e. design,
implementation and deployment. Despite these similarities, the focus
continues to be placed on the user.

In order to keep user needs present during the whole development
process, the previous phases are complemented with two additional ones
that are performed in parallel, for each process iteration,
prototyping and evaluation.

Prototypes are created from the beginning, for instance paper
prototypes (Snyder 2003), which do not require any implementation, or
simple applications with limited functionality. All of them are used
to evaluate the system with users so their requirements are taken into
account and contrasted with the developed system just from the
beginning and through all the development process iterations.

Once developed, prototypes are tested with users and experts in the
evaluation phase. There are three kinds of evaluation methods:

- Inspection: these evaluation methodologies are performed by experts,
the evaluators, that inspect the usability and accessibility aspects
of the system based on a set of guidelines, e.g. heuristic usability
evaluations and walkthroughs (Nielsen 1994).

- Inquiry: the objective is to draw usability conclusions from
observing and talking with users. There are surveys, interviews, field
observations, focus groups, logs analysis, etc.

- Test: they are performed in a controlled environment, usually a
usability laboratory, where specialised software applications are used
to record and analyse the whole interaction, i.e. screen capture, key
strokes, mouse clicks, user video record and voice,... while
representative users interact with the system or a prototype.

D. Norman and S. Draper: "User-centered systems design: new
perspectives on human-computer interaction". Lawrence Erlbaum, 1986
T. Granollers: "User Centred Design Process Model. Integration of
Usability Engineering and Software Engineering". Doctoral Consortium,
INTERACT 2003, Zurich, 2003
J. Nielsen and R. L. Mack (eds.): "Usability Inspection Methods". John
Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994
C. Snyder: "Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and
Refine User Interfaces". Morgan Kaufmann, 2003

Roberto García
Received on Thursday, 31 May 2007 23:42:21 UTC

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