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Week Six   User Centric Design
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Week Six User Centric Design


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An overview of how human needs, limitations and expectations drive our perception of reality and interface.

An overview of how human needs, limitations and expectations drive our perception of reality and interface.

Published in: Education, Technology, Design

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  • 1. Week Six User-centric Design Wayne MacPhail
  • 2. Online Journalism JOU-732 Wayne MacPhail University of Western Ontario
  • 3. Overview • The Why of Bad Design • The Realities of Being Human • Know Thy User • How to Know Thy User
  • 4. Bad Design The hated remote The hated Meridian phone system • Complex • Arcane • No cues • Inhuman(e)
  • 5. Good Design • Elegant • Easy • Adored
  • 6. Why the Difference? LOVE HATE
  • 7. Why Design Fails • No communication • Geeks like buttons • Mechanists vs. Humanists • No understanding of human factors
  • 8. When Design Works • Listening well • One button • Human focus • Accessible elegance
  • 9. The Realities of Being Human
  • 10. Count the Passes
  • 11. Realities of being human Our experience of the real world is filtered through our imagination, our senses, expectations, limitations and memories.
  • 12. We can be absolutely blind to data we don’t expect.
  • 13. Being Human • Our short-term memory is fragile, limited and easily taxed. • Our long-term memory compresses events and is unreliable.
  • 14. Realities • Limited bandwidth - especially when busy or focussed • We are easily distracted
  • 15. We often believe people experience the world the same way we do.
  • 16. Human Nature We understand symbols, conventions, narratives, patterns and scripts.
  • 17. Being Human We don’t always have the full function of our senses, brains or limbs.
  • 18. Human experience We don’t all share the same pool of human experience and cultures
  • 19. Social Relations We easily form social relationships, especially under stress.
  • 20. We Satisfice
  • 21. We need feedback.
  • 22. You must understand these realities to design effective interfaces for other human beings.
  • 23. User Interface Design • Users? Variety of birds. • Their goal? Getting food. • Their interface? The perches. • The design? In progress.
  • 24. User Interface Design Prototype Simple iterative design Interface supports the users and their goals
  • 25. Rule #1 “Know thy users for they are not you.”
  • 26. Who is the user? • Who are they? • What do they need? • What do they want? • What are their expectations? • What are their limitations?
  • 27. Rule #2 “If you want to know your users, you have to spend time with them.”
  • 28. Maybe they’re not like you at all • Younger • Older • Busy • Color blind • A “Newbie” • A senior citizen • Impaired
  • 29. Sites for Sore Eyes
  • 30. Probably, they don’t care • About your cool design • About your graphics • About your buttons or code • Your Flash program ….unless it helps them find what they want to find.
  • 31. Rule #3 “Your user is on a mission, and it isn’t to learn how great you are at building a fancy web page.”
  • 32. User Hell Site
  • 33. Learning From Your Users
  • 34. Fact Finding Methods • Competitive Analysis • User Needs Assessment • Surveys • Interviews
  • 35. Competitive Analysis • Research other sites for your niche • Research other sites for niches like your niche • List features, note language, pay attention to graphic design • Don’t take them as the gold standard
  • 36. User Needs Analysis • Start open-ended and wide • Probe for emotions, language • Discover needs, goals • Probe for limitations, environment • Don’t limit choices
  • 37. Surveys • You want to find out who they are and what they want. • Keep the list under 10 questions • Between 5 and 10 minutes to complete • Use yes/no questions and open ended
  • 38. Interviews • Choose people to represent your user groups. • Decide what you want to learn. • Write up a protocol and question list. • Ask questions in a neutral manner. Take good notes.
  • 39. Contexual Interviews • Go to where the users work or play. • Watch them closely. • Combine this with a regular interview for more information.
  • 40. Wayne MacPhail wmacphail