In SXD (http://www.slideshare.net/MobileWish/sx-overview) I had proposed one example parts of the device in google glass can be made detachable…currently Google’s sudden announcement on “Google get Glass to fit on spectacles” actually can be seen one step that makes Glass more compatible with SXD principles.
A document to be displayed on a touchscreen display device is arranged to have a hierarchical structure of categories, each category including at least one sub-document. A sub-document of a first category is displayed on a touchscreen display device. A first gesture is received through the touchscreen display device. In response to the first gesture, a navigation is made to a beginning sub-document of a second category.
UCD is differs from the UCSD in the following areas:
Goal: The goal of UCSD is more on the process than the user so as to make the final product/system more usable. UCD rather focuses more on “users” of the product and not the design process. More focus is spent on understanding the user and their need.
Process vs. Techniques Set: UCSD is about system development where as UCD is mostly a set of tecniques and process sets to be used with in UCSD
Perception: The DNA of UCSD is about changing the mindset of the professionals in the development process so that the designing aspect of usability can be put into practice freely and with higher priority. The UCD process is not about the changing perception about the priority of the design in the whole process.
Broadness: UCSD covers the whole process that includes the areas which are even not part of “designing” whereas UCD can be seen as a subset of UCSD focusing of the “design process sets”.
UCD Models and Process
There 3 different models that support UCD in varying degrees and follow the ISO standard Human-Centred Design for interactive systems:
Cooperative Design: This involves designers and users on an equal footing.
Participatory Design (PD): Inspired by Cooperative Design, focusing on the participation of users
Contextual Design: “Customer-Centered Design” in the actual context, including some ideas from Participatory Design.
All these UCD models involve more or less a set of activities grouped into the following steps mentioned below:
Planning: in this stage the UCD process is planned and if needed customized. It involves understanding the business needs and setting up the goals and objectives of the UX activities. Also forming the right team for the UX needs and if needed hiring specialties fall into this step.
User data collection and analysis: This step involves data collection through different applicable methodologies such as user interviews, developing personas, conducting scenarios , user-cases and user stories analysis, setting up measurable goals.
Designing and Prototyping : This involves activities like card sorting, conducting IA, wire framing and developing prototyping.
Content writing: this involves content refinement and writing for web and similar activities.
Usability testing: This involves is a set of activities of conducting tests and heuristic evaluations and reporting to allow refinement to the product. However Usability Testing can have its set of steps involving similar activities such as planning , Team forming, testing , review and data analysis and reporting.
All these are similar to most of the steps that fall under Usability Design as UCD can be seen as a subset of process with in Usability Design.
So many processes: What is where?
After going through multi relation models in all these processes and sub process discussed in this post and the previously discussed posts, it might be little confusing to visual all the overlapping and dependable process sets. So here is a simple representation diagram that roughly shows the overlapping relations:
To test the concept here is a simple face tracking POC that intelligently determines if the user is not looking at the screen/away and if he is not active (sample showing a few second delay in movement as “sleeping state of the student”)
Funny , isn’t it? yet it can act as a meaningful agent in improving offline training content and players.
The Usability Design is roughly a subset of the UCSD process that matches the “Do Iterative UCSD” step of the UCSD process.
The usability design outlines the steps in the development process involving usability design aspects. The process can be divided into three main phases:
Requirements analysis: This step is synonymous with planning and analysis phase of typical software development life cycle(SDLC).
Growing software with iterative design: This is the design and testing phase and development phase of typical SDLC.
Deployment: This is same as deployment phase of typical SDLC.
User-centered design (UCD) is a set of design processes in which “the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage”. It is characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process involving designers who take the lead responsibility in foreseeing and solving the usability problems the users are likely to face while interacting with or using the system/product. UCD focuses on understanding the behavioral aspect of the user interacting for the first time so that the user’s learning curve in using the system can be evaluated in order to optimize and reduce it. User-centered design philosophy emphasizes on optimizing the product around “how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product”.
Constantine and Lockwood define UCD as :
‘. . . loose collection of human-factors techniques united under a philosophy of understanding users and involving them in design’. . . ‘Although helpful, none of these techniques can replace good design. User studies can easily confuse what users want with what they truly need. Rapid iterative prototyping can often be a sloppy substitute for thoughtful and systematic design. Most importantly, usability testing is a relatively inefficient way to find problems you can avoid through proper design’. (‘. . . loose collection of human-factors techniques united under a philosophy of understanding users and involving them in design’. . . ‘Although helpful, none of these techniques can replace good design. User studies can easily confuse what users want with what they truly need. Rapid iterative prototyping can often be a sloppy substitute for thoughtful and systematic design. Most importantly, usability testing is a relatively inefficient way to find problems you can avoid through proper design’.
Putting it straightforward UCD is all about 4 factors which are mostly related to the end user :
Needs of users
Limitations of users
Preferences of users
Business objectives of the product.
This helps in achieving the following benefits:
User satisfaction through more user friendly product experience
Increase in customer /user loyalty.
Making the product more relevant and valuable for the user
User-Centered Systems Design (UCSD) is set of “usability design” process focusing on usability throughout “the entire development process and further throughout the system life cycle”. It is based on the following key principle:
User focus: The goals of the activity, the work domain or context of use, the users’ goals, tasks and needs should control the development.
Active user involvement: Representative users should actively participate, early and continuously throughout the entire development process and throughout the system life cycle.
Evolutionary systems development: The systems development should be both iterative and incremental.
Simple design representations: The design must be represented in such ways that it can be easily understood by users and all other stakeholders.
Prototyping: Early and continuously, prototypes should be used to visualize and evaluate ideas and design solutions in cooperation with the users.
Evaluate use in context: Baseline usability goals and design criteria should control the development.
Explicit and conscious design activities: The development process should contain dedicated design activities.
A professional attitude: The development process should be conducted by effective multidisciplinary teams.
Usability champion: Usability experts should be involved from the start of project to the very end.
Holistic design: All aspects that influence the future use situation should be developed in parallel.
Process customization: The UCSD process must be specified, adapted and implemented locally in each organization. Usability cannot be achieved without a user-centered process. There is, however, no one-size-fits-all process.
A user-centered attitude must be established: UCSD requires a user-centered attitude throughout the project team, the development organization and the client organization.
The typical process flow of UCSD can be visualized as the following steps (based on ISO/TR 18529:2000):
Pre-study and business analysis: It can be anything from a comprehensive analysis of work procedures, business processes, etc., to a brief statement or vision.
Planning the user-centered systems design process: includes setting up the project with resources, activities, roles, methods, etc.
Do iterative UCSD /Usability DesignActivities: The usability design process approximately.
Formal Summative Evaluation: It covers the usability of the resulting system, as opposed to the formative evaluations used in the usability design process to learn about details in the design .
Introduce and Operate the System: includes installation, change management, user training, evaluating long-term effects and so forth.
The focus of UCDS is all about “changing the attitude among all professionals involved in the software development process” and these set of 10 principles are key for the “user-centered systems design process” which helps in giving “equal weight to interaction design, analysis and evaluation, combining interaction design, and usability engineering”.
This is one of my proof of concept application demo on how to prepare an eco-system for delivering protected digital content specially related to e-learning and m-learning context.
SIMPLE is an eco-system that allows tools such as
SimpleAuthor : That allows content authoring from common formats such as MS Office documents , PDFs and CBRs along with the options to author contents using cloud based WYSIWYG editor .
SimplePublisher: This allows you to import contents such as set of HTML files, ePubs, PDFs, text files, set of images, CBR files and the output from SimpleAuthor
SimplePlayer: This is a native course packaged with the required run-time that the end user will be using to view the content . This allows content activation and offline content tracking . In this current demo the Player is an EXE file that is being generated from the SimplePublisher. In the POC of the Publisher, each course is generated as an EXE file containing the content and the required runtime in it.
SimpleStore: In this POC you can see it as an online store that show cases different titles published using SimplePublisher. Basically it manages the catalog, and tracks activation of each offline course.
Note: the SIMPLE eco-system can be seen as an experiment based on the CUPID (Common Unified Programs for Instruction Delivery) guidelines. Check CUPID related info here: