Is there a formal UCD process?

19 Aug 2010 - 11:42pm
4 years ago
10 replies
1543 reads
AliceDavey
2010

Hi all,

I'm setting up a vertical discipline of UCD in the company I work for. It needs to integrate with the formal processes of Project Management and Software Development, which seem to have several industry-wide standard methodologies to choose from. These methodologies can be studied and you can get qualifications in them, when they are adopted they are similar in many companies.

As far as I know, there isn't any similar formalised 'qualifiable' process for UCD, but if there is, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks, Alice.

Comments

20 Aug 2010 - 1:58am
Anonymous

I have been looking for exactly the same thing now for the past year and have found ... nothing. Most of the UCD processes I've been able to find out about are developed internally by companies who refuse to share.

I learned SSADM v4.2 in the mid-'90s and had a couple of little gold books which explained the process in detail, making it easy to incorporate in my projects. Without this or similar, UCD is little more than an idea which differs massively from company to company.

Anyone out there want to prove me wrong and point Alice and myself at a clear UCD detailed process? Smile

20 Aug 2010 - 3:06am
sohail_sahab
2010

Hi,

  I wonder if it helps:

 

Key principles for user-centred systems design 

JAN GULLIKSEN, BENGT GO¨RANSSON, INGER BOIVIE, STEFAN BLOMKVIST, 

JENNY PERSSON and A˚SA CAJANDER 

Uppsala University, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction, PO Box 337, 

S-751 05 Uppsala, Sweden; e-mail: jan.gulliksen@it.uu.se 

Published in: journal Behaviour & Information Technology, Volume 22, Issue November 2003 , pages 397 - 409

 

20 Aug 2010 - 3:06am
pabini
2004

Hi Alice
Project management and software development processes aren't usually all that formal. Smart companies adapt development processes to their needs. If you're interested in learning more about project management, read Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, by Johanna Rothman. You'll learn a lot that will help you to integrate your efforts with a product development process and much that you can adapt to a UCD process, even though she pretty much ignores UX. There are many great books on agile software development. I particularly recommend Mike Cohn's book User Stories. He's at least somewhat aware of user experience concerns. Other great authors who've written extensively on the software development process include Steve McConnell, Tom DeMarco, Edward Yourdon, and Capers Jones.
If you want to read about UCD process in-depth, read Kim Goodwin's recent book Designing for the Digital Age. It describes the process they use at Cooper. Or you can read my recent article on UXmatters, "Design Is a Process, Not a Methodology," which goes into quite a bit of detail about the process of designing user experiences.
http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/07/design-is-a-process-not-a-methodology.php
Hope this helps.
Regards, Pabini
_____________________
Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Principal UX ArchitectSpirit Softworks LLCwww.spiritsoftworks.com
Publisher & Editor in ChiefUXmatterswww.uxmatters.com
Founding Director of IxDA
IxDA Local Leader for Silicon Valley


On Aug 19, 2010, at 11:37 PM, AliceDavey wrote:

Hi all,

I'm setting up a vertical discipline of UCD in the company I work for. It needs to integrate with the formal processes of Project Management and Software Development, which seem to have several industry-wide standard methodologies to choose from. These methodologies can be studied and you can get qualifications in them, when they are adopted they are similar in many companies.

As far as I know, there isn't any similar formalised 'qualifiable' process for UCD, but if there is, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks, Alice.

20 Aug 2010 - 6:06am
carlbberg
2008

Hi Alice,
There are some ISO specifications that address your question. One of them (the most important, I think) is the ISO 13407: http://www.ucc.ie/hfrg/emmus/methods/iso.html

Official url: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=21197
And yes, Mike Cohn's book (as Pabini said) is very recommended!


[]'s

CARLOS ROSEMBERG
@carlbberg
www.carlosrosemberg.com



On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 7:18 AM, Pabini Gabriel-Petit <pabinigp@spiritsoftworks.com> wrote:

Hi Alice
Project management and software development processes aren't usually all that formal. Smart companies adapt development processes to their needs. If you're interested in learning more about project management, read /Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, /by Johanna Rothman. You'll learn a lot that will help you to integrate your efforts with a product development process and much that you can adapt to a UCD process, even though she pretty much ignores UX. There are many great books on agile software development. I particularly recommend Mike Cohn's book /User Stories. /He's at least somewhat aware of user experience concerns. Other great authors who've written extensively on the software development process include Steve McConnell, Tom DeMarco, Edward Yourdon, and Capers Jones.
If you want to read about UCD process in-depth, read Kim Goodwin's recent book /Designing for the Digital Age. /It describes the process they use at Cooper. Or you can read my recent article on /UXmatters, /"Design Is a Process, Not a Methodology," which goes into quite a bit of detail about the process of designing user experiences.
http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/07/design-is-a-process-not-a-methodology.php [1]
Hope this helps.
Regards, Pabini
_____________________
Pabini Gabriel-Petit
Principal UX ArchitectSpirit Softworks LLCwww.spiritsoftworks.com [2]
Publisher & Editor in ChiefUXmatterswww.uxmatters.com [3]
Founding Director of IxDA
IxDA Local Leader for Silicon Valley

On Aug 19, 2010, at 11:37 PM, AliceDavey wrote:

Hi all,

I'm setting up a vertical discipline of UCD in the company I work for. It needs to integrate with the formal processes of Project Management and Software Development, which seem to have several industry-wide standard methodologies to choose from. These methodologies can be studied and you can get qualifications in them, when they are adopted they are similar in many companies.

As far as I know, there isn't any similar formalised 'qualifiable' process for UCD, but if there is, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks, Alice.

((
20 Aug 2010 - 5:06am
William Hudson
2009

Alice -

There's the ISO standard 13407 on human-centred design, which talks about the process but is not prescriptive. The related ISO TR 18529 goes into more detail on individual activities. Separately, Larry Constantine describes a UCD process in his book Software for Use, but it's not formal. I teach something similar in my courses in Agile UCD and Persona-Driven Design (see link after signature), but primarily in Europe (although the former is currently under consideration for the CHI conference in Vancouver next year - see http://www.chi2011.org/).

Regards,

William Hudson Syntagm Ltd Design for Usability UK 01235-522859 World +44-1235-522859 US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM mailto:william.hudson@syntagm.co.uk http://www.syntagm.co.uk skype:williamhudsonskype

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985). Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

We run a regular series of UCD, UX, usability and related soft-skills courses in London www.syntagm.co.uk/design/courses.htm

20 Aug 2010 - 7:05am
bkillam
2010

Alice,
The process was also well documented in the DOD Handbook on Human Engineering Program Process and Procedures (MIL-HNBK-46855), in a wonderful little book called  "The Human Factor" by Hersch and Rubinstein (now, unfortunately, out of print but I think you can still find copies.), in Interaction Design by Sharp, Roger & Preece (the book I use to teach my course at George Mason University, the Usability Engineering Lifecycle by Mayhew to name a few.  
Bill---------------------------------------------------Bill Killam, MA CHFP/CUXPPresident, User-Centered Design, Inc.20548 Deerwatch PlaceAshburn, VA 20147703-729-0998 (Office)703-626-6318 (Mobile)http://www.user-centereddesign.com



20 Aug 2010 - 6:26am
smitty777
2010

Hi Alice,

You should check out The Usability Engineering Lifecycle by Deborah Mayhew. She does a great job in outlining the whole process. Also, The Institutionalization of Usability might be beneficial (althouh I thought it was a little salesy). I've used both of these books to start up UCD programs at different companies.

(http://www.amazon.com/Usability-Engineering-Lifecycle-Practitioners-Technologies/dp/1558605614/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282307026&sr=1-1)

 

20 Aug 2010 - 8:17am
jyoung
2010

I've attached a JPG of a UCD cycle a co-worker and I came up with. Maybe it will help. It's based off several versions floating out in the ether, but tweaked slightly to consider affective design and branding. It can be added to/subtracted from based on the project.

20 Aug 2010 - 7:00pm
David Sless
2009

Hi All,

I've been lurking on this list for some time now. It's part of what I do to keep up with what everyone is doing in various fields that interest me.

I was struck by this discussion of formalised UCD processes. It might be a little out of your field, but our Institute—the Communication Research Institute—has been investigating design methods in information design since the mid 1980s. We published one of our first accounts of this work in 1990 and have gone on to publish quite a number of case histories and other works on the subject. Jakob Nielsen's cites our work in 'Usability Engineering.

But, because most of our early work, predating the internet,  was on the design of documents, it may not have been on this group's radar.

Nonetheless, we have been researching, testing and formalising UCD for over 20 years now. There is a lot published on our web site and in 'Information Design Journal' that will lead you to this work. We also run post-graduate courses in this area. You might find this useful.

Check it out at: communication.org.au

26 Aug 2010 - 8:50am
AliceDavey
2010

Pabini,

Your article is very good. I've bookmarked it for future use!

William, I have seen the ISO, thanks, and your courses look useful.

I have some more links to follow and see what they bring. I still feel that none of these are truly 'official'  processes or methodology. Not that it bothers me particularly, I just need to be able to tell my boss that what I do is based on best practice seeing as there isn't an adopted 'named' approach we can use.

Thanks all.

Alice.

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