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The 5 U's of Usability and User-Centered Design:

  • User-centered Design
  • User-centered design is a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given the primary focus of attention at each stage of the design process.

    The main difference from other product design philosophies is that user-centered design tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product (aka. Engineering-Centric Design).

    See also: http://www.w3.org/WAI/redesign/ucd

  • Usability Testing
  • The end user doesn't read the source code!

    For way too many years we have used that phrase to explain to developers that it is important for them to try to understand their users.

    Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

    When it didn’t work, we tried to explain about users using most of the standard, and many of the non-standard techniques:

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