User-Centred Design (UCD)

User Centred Design methods achieve high quality results in both research and design.
We use the most appropriate method to solve your design problems. Just in case you’re unfamiliar with some these methods we have provided descriptions, please contact us for more information.

Methods

Below are some of the methods we employ during the analysis phase:

  • Card sorting: This method allows a group of users or subject matter experts to categorize and identify relationships between content items and functionalities. This understanding of how users work with the content is needed to create an information architecture and interaction design.
  • Competitive analysis: Often called benchmarking, this technique examines the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and similar products or services. This is often done in the form of heuristic analysis.
  • Contextual inquiry: Analysis of the context of use consists in collecting as much information as possible on what users actually do when carrying out a specific task and on the specific work environment this happens in. This work informs the designing of process flows and interfaces that will match how people use the system.
  • Design Workshops (affinity diagramming and brainstorming): Affinity diagramming is effective in sorting large amounts of data into logical groups. Participants add new items, remove items and reassign items to new areas. Brainstorming requires also that participants sketch out ideas. These workshops area cost effective technique in getting ideas when preexisting ideas or paradigms need to be overcome.
  • Diary studies: Longitudinal study in the form of a paper or online diary in which participants report interactions with specific products and services. Diary studies can also be conceptual as in social interactions and communication patterns with certain customer groups.
  • Ethnographic studies: Observations of how a product or service is used in context. These field/ethnographic studies can take place at home or across a variety of locations and situations. This provides tangible documentation of how the product or service affects the user and what unmet needs or innovations can be designed to improve the customer experience.
  • Focus groups: Moderated group discussions to validate or receive feedback from customers or target customers on their experience with a proposed product or concept. It is also used with existing systems and products and can be part of a competitive analysis.
  • Personas: Detailed profiles of specific user types are created to represent behavioral aspects of your different customer segments. These fictional characters are constructed to understand their goals, desires, needs, behaviors and preferences. This is useful in guiding decisions about a product, suchas features, interactions, and visual design.
  • Prototyping: A prototype is part of the design process toallow stakeholders, developers, users, and designers the ability to explore designalternatives, test theories and evaluate user satisfaction and performance prior to startingdevelopment of a the product.
  • Structured interviews: Individual interviews to collect detailed information on users’ profiles, needs, desires and expectations.
  • Surveys: Online questionnaires to collect feedback from a large number of current or future users.
  • Task analysis: Defines the different tasks and sub-tasks that a user will have to carry out to reach a goal, whether that be a business goal as in purchasing an item or the ability to find information. Task analysis documents in which sequence these tasks will need to take place for a positive customer experience.
  • Usability tests: Testing target customers on competitive systems (benchmarking) or on prototypical systems (paper or shallow prototypes).