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1.2.3. User-Centered Design

What is User-Centered Design?

The process from the idea of a project until its realisation and usage, often ends up as following:

As User Interface Design should not end upAs User Interface Design should not end up (enabled.com)

User Centered-Design helps to avoid that processes end up as it is shown in the image above.

"User Centered-Design (UCD) is a design philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of an interface or document are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centered design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyze and foresee how users are likely to use an interface, but to test the validity of their assumptions with regards to user behaviour in real world tests with actual users. Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of an interface to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user's learning curve may look like." (Wikipedia)

User Centered Design concerns itself with:

  • Usefulness
    Usefulness relates to relevance: do the functions, information, etc. match what the user actually needs? (Katz-Haas 1998)
  • Usability
    Usability relates to ease-of-use - a simple concept, but not always easy or intuitive to implement. (Katz-Haas 1998)
  • Visual Design
    Refers to layout recommendations and to the use of graphical elements.

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