Speaking Notes from a Tech Talks Presentation by Kristin Boyett, February 22, 2006


User Centered-Design (UCD) is a philosophy and a process. It is a philosophy that places the person (as opposed to the 'thing') at the center; it is a process that focuses on cognitive factors (such as perception, memory, learning, problem-solving, etc.) as they come into play during people's interactions with things.

Web Interfaces Should:

  1. Provide Task Support
  2. Be Usable
  3. Have Aesthetically Pleasant Interface Design

To ensure a user-centered approach, site functionality needs to be defined in terms of what the user needs, rather than all the possible tasks the site could support.

Steps in UCD

  1. Identify your users and their needs/goals for visiting your site.
  2. Create information architecture.
  3. Develop visual design.
  4. Test design for success at meeting user needs.
  5. Iterate.

In UCD, the user's needs are central to the process; however, where to involve real users in the design process can vary widely, depending on needs and desires of the design team.

Hurdles to Overcome When Implementing UCD

  1. Facilitate, Not Teach
  2. KISS (Keep it Simple)
  3. Separate Opinion from UCD
  4. Branding
  5. Hide Technology
  6. Technology-Driven vs. User-Driven


For more information, please see the resources in the  User-Centered Design Bibliography.

About the Author:  Librarian Kristin Boyett is the project manager for the UNT Libraries' Multi-Media Development Lab.



Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 12:00pm