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User Centered Design

User centered design (UCD) is both a philosophy and a methodology of product design. The simple idea is that no product, web site, or software system matters at all unless there are users to use it. It puts users needs above everything else.

The Philosophy.

The Methodology.

The overall process is simple; get some users and find out how they work with a web site.

Two Principles of UCD.

  1. Early focus on users and tasks.
  2. Iterative design whereby a product is designed, modified, and tested repeatedly.

Design Cycle.

  1. User needs analysis.
  2. Operational and conceptual design.
  3. Development and testing.
  4. Validation - last round of user task sessions focused on the most critical elements of the site.
  5. Deployment - site goes live.

Repeat 1-4 forever...

The design cycle circles through the four phases continuously.

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