How trendy is UCD? Are we critical enough aboutit?

10 Sep 2009 - 3:25pm
5 years ago
5 replies
396 reads
gretchen anderson
2005

Here's one (or one to watch):
http://www.lunar.com/iconocast2/?p=149

----------------->
It all prompted me to ask on my blog show me a major success
(Apple-like success) that was based on UCD. No answers yet. ;-)

http://davemalouf.com/?p=1694

-- dave

Comments

13 Sep 2009 - 7:38pm
Dante Murphy
2006

I agree with Charlie. I sincerely hope whoever wrote this works for one of my competitors...or perhaps the "axis of evil".

I will concur with the general sentiment that basing ALL of your decision on user observation is a flawed strategy. To demonstrate this more clearly, and I hope to the satisfaction of Dave Malouf, I have changed the term to "user aware design" when describing my process. Many clients are too literal, and apparently so are many of my peers, so this was an easy way to more accurately represent my process to the satisfaction of my clients.

But to suggest that "users can't help you make decisions any better" is so absurd that I don't even know where to start...so I'm not going to. Anyone who believes this is either trying to start a fight or is beyond hope.

________________________________

From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com on behalf of Thomas Petersen
Sent: Sun 9/13/2009 9:20 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] How trendy is UCD? Are we critical enough aboutit?

It seems obvious from my point of view that UCD is not really useful.
Usability tests, focus groups and so one are money making machines
nothing more.

Users can't help you make decisions so design should never be user
centered. Design should be centered around problem solving. User can
inform you on problems they have but that has nothing to do with UCD.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45486

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13 Sep 2009 - 8:15pm
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

Hi Dante:

I think that you are right when you say " I have changed the term to "user
aware design" when describing my process."

I've also become sensitized about using UCD so I've tried both 'user-focused
design' and 'user-informed design'.

Often, clients still use terms like "user friendly" and usability. As long
as they get the point I don't worry too much about the words. Though it
would be nice to have a non-controversial one. :-)

Charlie

============================
Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ph.D.
CEO, Cognetics Corporation
============================

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dante
Murphy
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:39 PM
To: Thomas Petersen; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] How trendy is UCD? Are we critical enough
aboutit?

I agree with Charlie. I sincerely hope whoever wrote this works for one of
my competitors...or perhaps the "axis of evil".

I will concur with the general sentiment that basing ALL of your decision on
user observation is a flawed strategy. To demonstrate this more clearly,
and I hope to the satisfaction of Dave Malouf, I have changed the term to
"user aware design" when describing my process. Many clients are too
literal, and apparently so are many of my peers, so this was an easy way to
more accurately represent my process to the satisfaction of my clients.

But to suggest that "users can't help you make decisions any better" is so
absurd that I don't even know where to start...so I'm not going to. Anyone
who believes this is either trying to start a fight or is beyond hope.

________________________________

From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com on behalf of Thomas
Petersen
Sent: Sun 9/13/2009 9:20 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] How trendy is UCD? Are we critical enough
aboutit?

It seems obvious from my point of view that UCD is not really useful.
Usability tests, focus groups and so one are money making machines
nothing more.

Users can't help you make decisions so design should never be user
centered. Design should be centered around problem solving. User can
inform you on problems they have but that has nothing to do with UCD.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45486

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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14 Sep 2009 - 1:04am
Jarod Tang
2007

Google is also a proper example, PageRank , A.D word/sense as well as the
simple page layout are built around people's needs and motivation ( and
which drives the technology and design development ).

And I also propose a question from the other side, could you list a great
and lasting product/company which builds not for/around the user/people?

Cheers,
-- Jarod

On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 4:25 AM, Gretchen Anderson <gretchen at lunar.com>wrote:

> Here's one (or one to watch):
> http://www.lunar.com/iconocast2/?p=149
>
> ----------------->
> It all prompted me to ask on my blog show me a major success
> (Apple-like success) that was based on UCD. No answers yet. ;-)
>
> http://davemalouf.com/?p=1694
>
> -- dave
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

14 Sep 2009 - 3:07am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 13, 2009, at 11:04 PM, Jarod Tang wrote:

> Google is also a proper example, PageRank , A.D word/sense as well
> as the
> simple page layout are built around people's needs and motivation
> ( and
> which drives the technology and design development ).

I'd love for someone to show me the proof that Google did things like
write personas, create use cases, ran site visits to people's homes,
and whatever other sorts of use centered activities that people can
think of when the original team at Google created the search product.
The search results page has had additions over the years, but from a
general standpoint, the overall design of it is largely the same (and
uglier than sin), and it uses the same general approach.

From all that I know, they test the hell out of features before they
"officially" implement anything. Is that user focused? I guess it can
be considered that to some degree, but it always seemed to me more
like they struck gold with a design that was created absent anything
that I hear people tout as a UCD methodology or practice. It was
largely page rank driven and users felt the results from it were far
more accurate than anything they saw otherwise at the time. That's
technology, pure and simple. The design of the thing allowed it to be
lightening fast since it was nothing but text. And once they struck
gold with it, they now test new features thoroughly to make sure they
don't stop the flow of massive amounts of money they get from that
product via ad revenues.

Google, generally speaking, is first and foremost a technology-driven
company. All of their successful products have been created from new
technologies -- search page rank, maps with a fast JavaScript
interface and massive data sets that draw quickly due to chunking,
AdWords auction algorithms to maximize ad revenues, and all the
massive infrastructure they have been building on the backend to make
all the magic happen -- and what they can make that technology do for
people.

-Andrei Herasimchuk

14 Sep 2009 - 4:05am
Jarod Tang
2007

On Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 4:07 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <
aherasimchuk at involutionstudios.com> wrote:

> On Sep 13, 2009, at 11:04 PM, Jarod Tang wrote:
>
> Google is also a proper example, PageRank , A.D word/sense as well as the
>> simple page layout are built around people's needs and motivation ( and
>> which drives the technology and design development ).
>>
>
> I'd love for someone to show me the proof that Google did things like write
> personas, create use cases, ran site visits to people's homes, and whatever
> other sorts of use centered activities that people can think of when the
> original team at Google created the search product. The search results page
> has had additions over the years, but from a general standpoint, the overall
> design of it is largely the same (and uglier than sin), and it uses the same
> general approach.
>
>
Quoted from pagerank paper (
http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html<http://infolab.stanford.edu/%7Ebackrub/google.html>)

"...People are likely to surf the web using its link graph, often starting
with high quality human maintained indices such as
Yahoo!<http://www.yahoo.com/>or with search engines. Human maintained
lists cover popular topics
effectively but are subjective, expensive to build and maintain, slow to
improve, and cannot cover all esoteric topics. Automated search engines that
rely on keyword matching usually return too many low quality matches... We
have built a large-scale search engine which addresses many of the problems
of existing systems. It makes especially heavy use of the additional
structure present in hypertext to provide much higher quality search
results."

Search quality, "relevance to user's intention", fast, etc are all related
to people before technology, isn't it? ( persona or use case more are means
to the end ( focus on user's problems), and not the only means, aren't they?
:) )

Or, could we ask "how could one come up with page rank" without taking care
of human needs?

Google, generally speaking, is first and foremost a technology-driven
> company. All of their successful products have been created from new
> technologies -- search page rank, maps with a fast JavaScript interface and
> massive data sets that draw quickly due to chunking, AdWords auction
> algorithms to maximize ad revenues, and all the massive infrastructure they
> have been building on the backend to make all the magic happen -- and what
> they can make that technology do for people.
>

The question is what before the technology innovation ( tech before
people; or fpeople before tech. ). For the page rank issues, as above, we
could see people before technology explicitly from the original paper. And
AdWords? (src, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdWords ), we could see
something like ( more detail be described in "The Search") ,
"Advertisers specify the words that should trigger their ads and the maximum
amount they are willing to pay per click." ...

Tech is just a means to the people, and more than less, it's involved for
fulfilling human needs ( tech after people needs).

Let's back to quote Google's own words (
http://www.google.com/corporate/tech.html) , "We stand alone in our focus on
developing the "perfect search engine," defined by co-founder Larry Page as
something that, "understands exactly what you mean and gives you back
exactly what you want."" .
Again, it's more on people than technology.

Regards & Thanks,
-- Jarod

--
@jarodtang
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

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