User-Centered Design, Inc. takes its name from the system design philosophy of the same name. This philosophy focuses on the user’s needs and goals throughout the entire product lifecycle from concept ideation through design, development, deployment, and post-deployment assessment. We believe that taking a user-centered design approach results in the most effective, efficient, and satisfying product possible.
UCD, Inc. has expertise in each of the three main types of activities that make up the user-centered design process.
We perform diverse activities that help develop an understanding of the users, the environment in which they work, the tasks they perform, and how users currently perform the tasks. These services include:
- User Surveys/Interviews
- Focus Groups
- Modified Delphi Interviews
- Contextual Inquiry
- Hierarchical Task Analysis & GOMS Modeling
- Analytics Review *
- User Profiles/Personal Development
- Competitive Analysis & Exploratory User-Based Testing
To move rapidly from concept to full detailed design, we produce assorted types of artifacts to quickly provide visualization and allow for feedback on proposed designs.
- Open, Closed, & Inverse Card Sorts
- Operational Sequence Diagrams
- Screen Flow Diagrams
- Low & High Fidelity Mockups
Throughout the design cycle, we obtain feedback from users to ensure the design meets users’ needs. Relevant techniques assess the suitability The product must contain the appropriate information and capabilities for the target audience. In addition, the information must be accurate, easy to understand, and up-to-date. This defines the product’s suitability.
X Close and usability In order for users to successfully locate information or perform using a product’s capabilities, three conditions must be met. The product must be: (1) easy to learn, (2) easy to use (both cognitively and physically), and (3) easy to remember (particularly for infrequent users). These are the three dimensions of usability.
X Close of proposed designs and include both user and non-user based techniques.
- Style Guide Reviews
- Compliance Reviews (including Section 508 Reviews)
- Cognitive Walkthrough
- Expert Reviews/Heuristics Evaluations
- Formative & Summative User-based Testing
- Eye-tracking Studies
- Performance-based Testing
- Ergonomic Evaluations
- Time & Motion Studies
- System Safety Assessments
In addition to the three user-centered design activities discussed above, we have experience in conducting Applied Research. Our applied research projects provide information that expands the field of user-centered design through the expanding general knowledge and through refining or developing new tools and processes. Examples include:
- The development of a test method for voting machines
- Research on understanding patient reactions to the presentation of cancer survival data
- Research on how to display statistical information to the general public
* We routinely perform a review of analytics data in our other work, but we have a strategic alliance with Cardinal Path to extend our offerings. Through Cardinal Path, we offer licenses and support services for the deployment of Google Analytics.