Our UCD process - feedback please!

I am currently writing a report about my companies UCD process, and wanted to summarise it in 10 principles, any feedback would be welcome!
[]Even a little research goes a long way.
]Don’t build on assumptions, build on facts.
[]Understand your users and support their goals.
]Consider the users context: where, why, how and what.
[]Iterate throughout the process, including tests and design revisions.
]Promote participatory design inviting users into the process itself.
[]Test early, test often!
]Provide consistency across products and applications.
[]Make your interface easy to learn and fun to use.
]Just as our designs these principles must be continually reviewed and revised.

Hi Dean,

I have questions.

Can I ask who the audience is? Are they people who have a solid understanding of UCD methodologies or not so much? And can I ask what the purpose of the report is? For example is it to educate people on what they should be doing or is it a framework to be followed? or something else? Are they in any particular order?

Sorry to ask so many questions!

Thanks ASHM.

This is an internal document produced by the Product Development team, it is to show the directors what the goals are for the upcoming year. At the end of the document we want to give a brief overview of what we mean when we talk about user centered design.

The directors have no understanding of UCD at all, but it is to try to ensure that the pathway to building new products isn’t, “Hey I had an idea last night, when can we start building it?”, so it’s prime focus is to not only educate, but to give us some snappy things that we can point to and say, “No, we will not start building now, because…”

Thanks for that Dean. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve come across directors who see no value in following a user centred iterative approach to product design and they only stop when we pull out our workplace’s design guide.

My feedback would be to consider re-wording the principles to be more direct and to use an active voice. Some of them are a little fluffy and I know you’re trying to be nice but to me it’s noisy and allows room for interpretation (1,9 and 10 stand out to me for this reason). 3 and 7 are quite good.

Also, from my experience they’re probably not going to read all ten of them so put the important ones first! :slight_smile:

Hope this helps


Hey Dean! Great job with those ten points - I like that you’ve taken the approach to focus on principles when explaining, rather than jumping to a new process.

I agree with ASHM that the language could be tightened - being bold about what you mean instills more confidence, and is also likely to buy you some extra consideration. Like her, in my experience explaining, justifying and especially advancing the UCD culture in an organisation often relies on this.

There are a couple of other snappy things to point to that you might consider, if they work for you:
[]We look for the sweet spot at the intersection of business and user needs
]Make each iteration good enough, and no better than it must be
[]Our team works collaboratively to make the most of our experiences (or something that expands #6 into the team too)
]We set concrete, measurable goals at the beginning of the project so we know when we succeed
[]We favour clear communication over lengthy design specifications
]We give the development team visibility on the project before they need to build it, so we get their involvement earlier in the process
[]We value solving real user problems over implementing ‘cool’ features
]We apply the most appropriate tools rather than simply following a rigid project plan
[/LIST] ​I’d be really interested to hear how the explanation of the UCD process is received by the directors. Keep us posted!

I would too :slight_smile:

Great post. It is always interesting to see how people communicate the UCD process in their respective companies. I read the LEAN UX manifesto, which states six values. You can read everything about it here: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/01/08/lean-ux-manifesto-principle-driven-design/. Writing a report is always good, but making the culture change is the hard part. Do you have a plan as to incorportate the UCD process in your company? Do you have UX people to “do” the work? I am on a quest in my company to roll out the UCD process and we have support from top-management to reach level 6 in the Nielsen Norman Corporate Usability maturity: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-maturity-stages-5-8/ We are educating our consultants and supporting projects by early feedback on UX activities in all parts of the project. We are 7 months into the “change” and there is a looong way to go :-). Please keep us updated on your progress and I would love to hear what you hope to achieve with your “report”.