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User Centered Design (UCD) Process Overview

31st July, 2008

We have recently produced a downloadable 1 page process overview for User Centered Design (UCD). I felt that it will be good to share this with our blog readers rather than this just been part of our consultancy process with our direct clients.
PRWD\'s User Centered Design Process Overview
Below I have pulled out all the definitions of each phase in the UCD process, along with a summary of the services which are delivered during each phase.

Please note, some of the terminology used may not be too familiar to some readers, but rather than describing each service I wanted to keep this post more to the point. Feel free to call us for further information on a particular service or terminology used.

The 4 Phases of User Centered Design

You will notice that there isn’t an order assigned to the 4 phases, as UCD is a process of continual improvement. For the development of completely new business systems, applications and e-commerce platforms, the process would start with the analysis phase and work through the remaining 3 phases, but during the deployment phase on-going evaluation of the system and the users does mean that the process can then be continued, back in to the analysis phase (but to a lesser extent).

The Analysis Phase

User Centered Design Analysis Phase

Definition

This phase ensures all business and user requirements are taken into consideration, prior to the start of the design phase

PRWD Services

The Design Phase

User Centered Design Design Phase

Definition

This phase provides a comprehensive approach to the design of the system, ensuring the design meets all user and business requirements

PRWD Services

The Implementation Phase

User Centered Design Implementation Phase

Definition

This phase takes the user tested system and interaction designs and implements them into working systems ready to go live

PRWD Services

The Deployment Phase

User Centered Design Deployment Phase

Definition

This phase involves continuous evaluation of the new system, monitoring the performance against usability objectives

PRWD Services

And finally, a UCD definition as seen on our UCDcommerce site

In broad terms, user-centered design (UCD) is a design philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of an interface or document are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

Further Reading

Below are a range of links which will provide additional information on User Centered Design

Variations in UCD methodology- what are yours?

There will always be slight variation’s in the process with other usability and software development agencies, and I’ll be interested to hear comments on these differences.

On saying this, one thing is for sure – when following User Centered Design principles, users need to be an integral part of the complete design and development process.

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