The start-to-finish guide to User-Centered Design!
Make technology products easy to obtain, learn, and use
New methods, tools, technologies, and real-world case studies
CD-ROM: Tools and resources for introducing, deploying, and optimizing User-Centered Design
User-Centered Design can make any technology product or service far more successful by optimizing your customers' total experience from purchase and unpacking through support, upgrades, and beyond. Now, for the first time, there's a practical guide to introducing, deploying, and optimizing UCD. The field's leading experts present specific methods and techniques for building products that are simpler, more elegant, more powerful, and more profitable.
Improving everything your customers see, hear, and touch
A complete lifecycle approach to UCD that delivers breakthrough efficiency
Evaluating your current products and aligning your entire organization to support UCD
Optimizing UCD today—and anticipating trends that will impact tomorrow's products
Applying UCD to software, hardware, Web sites, and services for both external and in-house use
It's this simple: User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach will help you build products that customers will love—and buy! The accompanying CD-ROM contains several UCD practitioner tools, sample presentations, .AVI movies introducing key UCD concepts, a detailed template for tracking UCD metrics, and tools for carrying out UCD activities.
Review By: Mark L. Johns
This book serves as a guide to software implementation that requires the customer to provide input at every stage of the development process. The competitiveness of the software market and the increasing level of customer expectations have increased the need to produce the right product quickly. The book addresses the fact that success no longer depends only on being the first to market. User-Centered Design (UCD) is the means to deliver a product that the customers want and can use.
The book begins by taking the reader through a series of implementation steps, contrasting the traditional approach with new user-centered approach elements. It also provides a roadmap for implementation, complete with success factors. The first chapter concludes with several example arguments you are likely to hear, along with appropriate responses.
After laying the groundwork, the authors educate the reader about the world of integrated UCD, introducing the benefits from and targets for implementation. They also introduce their six principles of UCD: set business goals, understand users, design the total customer experience, evaluate designs, assess competitiveness, and manage for users. Each of the six principles is illustrated through apt case studies. The chapter concludes with a large case study on optimization using the Internet and other technologies.
The final three chapters discuss what you need to do to introduce, deploy, and optimize your UCD approach. The chapters start with information sharing/training and move through the steps needed to successfully build a base for early success and continuous improvement. The deployment chapter builds upon the introduction phase using the normal quality-based phases of planning, concept determination, detailed design and development, and finally how to manage the entire lifecycle. Each of the phases is subdivided by methodology (waterfall, iterative, etc.). Chapter 5 looks at ways to optimize your implemented integrated UCD approach. It looks at advance techniques as well as technology to help shorten the timeframes related to UCD projects.
Appendix A contains a PowerPoint-like presentation of integrated UCD, including general information and the six principles, which provides a great overview of the approach. It is suitable for use in introducing the concepts to a company. Appendix B is a template of the UCD project plan and status reporting tool.
The text also includes a CD-ROM of IBM copywritten material which can be reused as long as the appropriate credit is given. The CD-ROM contains avi movies, UCD presentations, and other resource areas.
The authors took the integrated UCD approach and dissected it into digestible “chunks” using nontechnical language. They added lots of case studies to emphasize the points and make them tangible. The topics were covered in enough detail to inform and educate without boring or clouding the points they intended to emphasize.
Using this book as a guideline, software professionals should be able to begin designing using the UCD approach. Using the strategies and techniques described in the book, you will be able to develop the software that the users want the first time instead of evolving in release after release.
I found this to be a very interesting, albeit an elementary book. The three authors took their life experiences in implementing the UCD approach and user interface design and have documented them. It was a quick and worthwhile read.