30 December, 2008

User Needs & Goals

Empower the user
  • People cost a lot more money than machines, and while it might appear that increasing machine productivity must result in increasing human productivity, the opposite is often true. Users determine the life and death of your product. If you understand your users' needs and how they actually use the product, then you have the information necessary to make improvements.
  • The UCD team try to understand their target audience so that they can determine what the User are looking for in the product.
  • The UCD standard practice is to have status mechanisms to keep users aware and informed at all times, keeping status information up to date and within easy view.
  • Keep the user occupied. Since, typically, the highest expense in a business is labor cost. Any time the user must wait for the system to respond before they can proceed, money is being lost.
  • To maximize the efficiency of a business or other organization you must maximize everyone’s efficiency, not just the efficiency of a single group.
  • The system should provide the users with all possible signs and directions so that even with the least brain work they are able to sail get their job done in the least possible time. However, there should be details available for those who want to research and find more from the system.
  • The UCD team conduct a full assessment of user’s proposed or existing product, and identify the strengths and weaknesses. From these strengths and weaknesses, they develop a targeted plan for how to improve the overall user experience. They examine both how existing screens and processes can be re-purposed, as well as what needs to be redesigned.
  • The UCD team entire design process is iterative, where they rely heavily on user and client feedback to determine which direction to steer. It is rare that they get it right on the first try and even after years and years of experience; They are constantly improving and challenging themselves.
  • Make user interfaces highly explorable.
  • Offer users stable perceptual cues for a sense of "home”.
  • Make Actions reversible.
  • Always allow, “Undo”.
  • Always allow a way out. However, make it easier to stay in.