The user-centered design process draws its power from two distinguishing characteristics:
1) Design and development are distinct processes.
In the user-centered design approach, product design occurs separate from and prior to any development efforts. Though this might seem to extend the total time from conception to fielding, it can actually shorten the overall process by expediting the design/test/revise cycle.
Advantage: Use of rapid turnaround, low cost techniques to develop designs.
2) Designs are vetted with users throughout the design process to ensure the validity of the proposed design.
Representative users provide feedback on the suitability and usability of proposed designs while there is still opportunity to make adjustments. When design is complete, development can proceed with the assurance that the design supports user goals and tasks.
Advantage: Less iteration after development begins where any changes are costly.
President and Senior Human Factors Engineer
Mr. Killam is the president and founder of User-Centered Design, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research in George Mason University's (GMU) School of Information Technology and Engineering. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and his master's degree in psychology from Marymount University. He holds professional certification from the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics as a Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP) / Certified User Experience Professional (CUXP). Mr. Killam is also a member of the American Psychological Association, Association for Computing Machinery, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and Usability Professionals Association.
He has been providing Human Factors Engineering, user-centered design, user experience design, and usability services for 30 years. He has worked for, or consulted to, companies such as GTE, TRW, IBM, and The Mitre Corporation; Federal agencies including the US State Department, the US Geological Survey, the US Courts, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and commercial organizations such as Nextel, CapitalOne, GEICO, and AOL.
Vice President and General Counsel
Dean Wanderer has served as Vice President and General Counsel of User-Centered Design since its inception. Dean, a former Navy JAG Corps officer, was licensed as an attorney in Virginia in 1996. He is responsible for all legal policies and procedures of the company including employment agreements, sub-contracts, and contract negotiations.
Senior Human Factors Engineer
Danielle Smith holds a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics and a Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech, and a B.A. in Psychology. Ms. Smith previously worked as a social media researcher for Noobis Inc, where she was involved in the design and testing of several applications for Facebook. Since joining UCD in 2010, she has performed user research, expert reviews, user-based testing, card-sorting activities, interaction design, and has created numerous mockups for testing. Her experience in usability and HCI includes projects from both academia and industry.
Ms. Smith has professional certification from the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics as an Associate Human Factors Professional (AHFP). She is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Usability Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), and the Order of the Engineer.
Senior Interaction Designer
Ms. Nomiyama is experienced in human-computer interface design, information architecture, design documentation, and product testing. She worked as a graduate fellow for 2 years in the area of user-based testing, information architecture, and interaction design. While working at UCD she has performed user research, product expert reviews, user-based evaluations, IA design, wireframe interface design, and mock-up development on web application and mobile device interfaces.
Ms. Nomiyama holds a M.S. in Interaction Design & Information Architecture from the University of Baltimore and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Lewis and Clark College. She is also a member of the User Experience Professionals Association.
Ms. Barry has over 15 years of experience in development and programming for the web and other digital media. She has worked extensively on both interface design and backend connectivity for websites encompassing a variety of databases, programming languages, and front-end technologies. Additionally she has broad experience in multimedia development and programming for mobile devices. Clients have included the federal government, private sector, and nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Barry holds a bachelor's degree in music engineering with minor in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.