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Resources: Guidelines and Methods

An Overview of Usability Methodologies

There are many published methodologies for usability or user-centered design (UCD). All of these methodologies focus on the people who will use a product and the purpose for which they use it, but they also vary in emphasis and approach.

Designing the User Experience
This UPA poster shows a general UCD methodology, with typical activities and definitions of key terminology.

Usage Centered Design
Constantine & Lockwood's approach focuses on usage rather than users and abstract rather than realistic models. It is closely associated with object-oriented approaches and UML. For a book on the subject, see Software for Use, Addison-Wesley, 1999.

TRUMP (TRrial Usability Maturity Process)
This EU-funded project looked at ways to raise the "usability maturity" of organizations and recommends an approach to defining a UCD methodology for a variety of projects

The Usability Engineering Lifecycle
Dr. Deborah Mayhew's methodology represents an engineering approach to achieving usability during product design and development. The diagram of the methodology shows how Usability Engineering Lifecycle tasks occur in parallel with traditional development tasks and are tightly interwined with them. For a book on the subject, see The Usability Engineering Lifecycle - A Practitioner's Handbook for User Interface Design, Morgan Kauffman in 1999.

LUCID (Logical User-Centered Interaction Design)
This framework, developed at Cognetics Corporation, defines a context in which to conduct your product, UI design, and usability activities. It also gives you the background and tools you need to manage those activities.



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