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User centred design is now mainstream. It’s widely accepted as the best way to create usable systems. Not everyone follows the ISO standard for UCD (ISO 9241-210 previously known as ISO 13407) but the basic principles seem unarguable. Start by understanding the users and context. Then set measurable objectives and test potential designs against these objectives with typical users. Keep refining the design till it meets the objectives. What could possibly go wrong? In this presentation we discuss a number of real world stumbling blocks which mean that even when the process is followed properly ( and not doing it properly is one of the first stumbling blocks), the results are not always what was wanted. Issues include failing to get management buy-in, testing with the wrong users and fixed project schedules which preclude fixing known problems.