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Describe the User Centered Design methodology

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 34412 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, SDLC, Process, and Methodologies


The User Centered Design methodology focuses on the user's needs and goals throughout the entire product or application development lifecycle.  This design approach places the user as the focal point of all phases of the development process from concept development to design, development, deployment, and finally to post-deployment assessment.  It is an approach which emphasizes cognitive factors such as a user’s perception, emotion, and memory and how these cognitive factors participate in the interactive experience.

This approach attempts to answer such questions as:

  • Who are the users of the product/application, i.e. target demographic?
  • What are the users’ goals and what tasks do they need to perform?
  • What functions will the users require to achieve their goals?
  • What information might the users need to complete each task?
  • Do the users have experience with a similar product/application?
  • How do the users think the product/application should work; how would they expect to navigate the product/application?
  • How should the design of the product/application support the users’ cognitive process such as perception, expectations, emotions, capacity to remember key information, etc?

While there are many variations of user centered design methods, most are structured around three main types of activities; Research (User, Task, Product), Product Design, Design Evaluation.

The Research category of activities may include:

  • User Surveys/Interviews
  • Task Analysis
  • GOMS Modeling
  • Field Observation
  • Market Segmentation
  • Persona Development
  • Competitive Analysis

The Product Design category of activities may include:

  • Storyboards
  • Wireframes
  • Low Fidelity Mockups
  • High Fidelity Mockups
  • Screen Flow Diagrams

The Design Evaluation category of activities may include:

  • Style Guide Reviews
  • Cognitive Walkthroughs
  • Heuristics Evaluations
  • Formative User Testing
  • Ergonomic Evaluations
  • Time & Motion Studies

Chris Adams
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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