IxDA Discussion Is UCD Really Broken?

3 Jul 2008 - 12:50pm
6 years ago
3 replies
619 reads
Thomas Petersen
2008

Id say yes UCD is broken and have always been.

Personally I close to hate everything about that approach.

The reason why it's broken is manifold, but primarily the problem is
that most people who are proponents of it is either managers who are
trying to find a way to secure their position against upper management
(well we did ask the users) and that very few have any idea of how to
translate the findings from a bunch of people into something useful.

I always found it laughable when so called usability experts did
usability studies. Instead of looking at something like that to be a
test of overarching principles it becomes the actual bedrock of the
design process. The findings from any research does not translate
itself in a one to one relations with any conclusion. Yet in UCD it
seems to be the case.

The fields basic principles are not wrong as such but the weight it
has been given and the way it is performed is both to wide and to
unimaginative.

Thomas Petersen

HelloBrand

Comments

4 Jul 2008 - 5:42am
stauciuc
2006

Hmm, and I hoped the discussion was over...At least it would have been nice
to keep it under the same thread - don't see the reason to open a new one
(except that messages here might get more visibility, since the other thread
is, well, packed? )

Personally, I don't see why we need to make such general statements
(including the ones on the other thread), when we could simply say what we
really mean: "X doesn't work for me", or "I hate X because", or "I prefer Y
because I'm an expert in it and it has worked for me over the years, and it
works especially well for the domain I'm in" (this one's for Robert :) )

All the best,
Sebi

On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Thomas Petersen <tp at hellobrand.com> wrote:

> Id say yes UCD is broken and have always been.
>
> Personally I close to hate everything about that approach.
>
> The reason why it's broken is manifold, but primarily the problem is that
> most people who are proponents of it is either managers who are trying to
> find a way to secure their position against upper management (well we did
> ask the users) and that very few have any idea of how to translate the
> findings from a bunch of people into something useful.
>
> I always found it laughable when so called usability experts did usability
> studies. Instead of looking at something like that to be a test of
> overarching principles it becomes the actual bedrock of the design process.
> The findings from any research does not translate itself in a one to one
> relations with any conclusion. Yet in UCD it seems to be the case.
>
> The fields basic principles are not wrong as such but the weight it has
> been given and the way it is performed is both to wide and to unimaginative.
>
> Thomas Petersen
>
> HelloBrand
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

4 Jul 2008 - 11:02am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> or "I prefer Y
> because I'm an expert in it and it has worked for me over the years, and it
> works especially well for the domain I'm in" (this one's for Robert :) )
>

For the record, once again, I've taken the UCD route in the past—that's why
I know about and can argue its flaws. I wouldn't simply dismiss UCD to pitch
my own approach—I'd have nothing to gain in doing that. I dismiss (much of)
UCD because it's seriously flawed, and I think alternatives are not only in
order, but also essential to long-term success.

-r-

4 Jul 2008 - 8:50am
Thomas Petersen
2008

Sorry for the seperate thread, the reply functionality was down for
maintainance and I was urged to simple write an email. I even put in
the actual name of the thread with the hope that they would put it in
there.

Anyway...

The discussion is principal and have some rather large implications
on how we work with our clients or with management.

How often haven't we been fighting with clients who read a book, are
biased because they went to some lecture where UCD was preached or
read an article about the beauty of UCD.

I have at least and is now very upfront with my clients about the
principles we design by so we can manage expectations.

User input is valuable when acumulated, but this idea that seem have
spread that the specific input given by specific users on a given
project is sick in it's core and should be stopped before it brings
the entire field in jeopardy of being a joke.

Just look at how long it took to actually pursuade clients to look at
Jakob Nielsens writings as part of the equation not THE equation.

Maybe I am alone on feeling like this, but never the less it affects
me so I need to react.

On a more constructive note let me recommend two great books.

One is Clayton Christensen "The Innovator's Dilemma"

and

"What Customers Want - Using Outcome-driven Innovation to Create
Breakthrough Products and Services" by Anthony Ulwick.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31068

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