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Ozia08 - Homer & UCD in large government change programmes Sept08

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Homer Simpson & UCD in large goverment change programmes

Short Session, presented by Caronne Carruthers-Taylor.

Caronne will offer a unique perspective on UCD in large goverment change programmes, and will demonstrate the UCD techniques and artefacts used.

In the context of large government programmes, how can User-Centred Design (UCD) techniques be effectively used? Drawing upon lessons from Homer Simpson & other leading UCD lights (tongue firmly in cheek), this session will explore how UCD facilitates designing with a focus on users and how they interact with technology. As Jesse James Garrett says, “Designing for a good user experience is to understand the needs of the users better than they understand those needs themselves.”

In this session, we’ll look at some UCD techniques and the associated artefacts required within government programmes:

* User research; especially contextual enquiry
* User profiling
* Prototyping
* Usability evaluations
* Collaborative design within the project team
* Iterative design & development
* Expert reviews.

Usability evaluations (testing) are often portrayed as being a key UCD technique and a way to achieve a good user experience. However, if it’s the sole technique used it can be viewed as a roadblock and can result in a product that has been developed with minimal user research, evaluated with users to gain feedback, and then only some of these issues are addressed.

There is no substitute for a thoughtful, informed user experience design process that takes into account human cognition & human behaviour and utilises appropriate UCD techniques. This involves addressing business requirements and desired features while designing with an emphasis on user goals, usability and users’ interactions with the interface. In essence, it’s having the skills and experience to design, apply this within the department’s software development lifecycle and project methodology, and the ability to market this to key stakeholders.

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Ozia08 - Homer & UCD in large government change programmes Sept08

  1. 1. Homer Simpson UCD in large government change programmes Presented by Caronne Carruthers-Taylor Interaction Designer Oz-IA 2008, Sydney 20 September 2008
  2. 2. 2 Watashi (About me) User experience aficionado based in Canberra Several large government departments over more than 15 years as an interaction designer, UCD specialist, web manager, business analyst Care about improving the experience for users Champion users’ needs when the pressures of a project impose competing priorities Passionately communicate and engage with a broad range of stakeholders Think strategically and conceptually at the same time as doing practical work that produces tangible results for users.

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