Thank you to everyone who attended our (Karl Smith and Thom Heslop) talk at SXSW, it’s the start of a long road into a really complex and contextual problem. But being silent in the crowd as the King walks by with no clothes on is not an option, peoples lives, futures and prosperity is at risk, not to mention the risk of multi-trillion dollar lawsuits that can follow by knowingly distracting people who are engaged in critical tasks. The IoT – Internet of Things (Ubiquity) is the next great opportunity for commerce to engage with business enterprises and customers. However, there is no unified approachRead More →

After a year and a half of planning and work UCD2012 is almost due to start. It started as a conversation on Linkedin for me, then for a while between contacts became all consuming to make it happen. As a contractor myself I argued for an event that would also be available on a Saturday as I know how hard it is to motivate someone to lose a day’s rate and then pay for a conference on top of that. To my knowledge UCD2012 is the only United Kingdom conference to focus on it’s users in this way. It’s totally appropriate for a user centredRead More →

I have been involved in Agile for a very long time, mainly because it uses methods from the human computer interaction scientific process (CHI/HCI). Agile Networking Group (20,000 members on LinkedIn) https://www.linkedin.com/groups/81065. Signed the Agile Manifesto on 3rd April 2008 (http://agilemanifesto.org/display/000000111.html) Certified member of the Scrum Alliance Certificant ID: 52664 I’m surprise no one else has blogged about the use of CHI/HCI processes in Agile before, but though I should say something as I keep getting told that it’s interesting how many CHI/HCI people have embraced Agile. In fact it’s the other way around we have simply re-appropriated our own techniques that have new Agile names.Read More →

There are lots ways to elicit UCD requirements so I don’t intend on listing them all here, what I will note are some of the effective ways that I utilise. They can be described as structured, unstructured or a mixture of the two, but importantly the methods produce differing depth of requirements dependant not only on the method but on the skill of the facilitator and the characteristics of physical location used. In effect the method used is limited by the capability of the facilitator.Read More →

People focused Capturing requirements is subject to other peoples availability, this remains one of the most painful parts of the process as few participants seem to understand just how important their experience is to the project. Often a participant can shape the final output without realising they have done so, I include a Show and Tell component to requirements research as it informs participants that the information provided is important, has been used and is affecting the whole project. Additionally Show and Tell is critical to validation and creating buy in. I will post more about Show and Tell later. Screening Participants Creating a participantRead More →

International projects should be constructed in consideration of the most stringent standards this is expected to be those pertaining to the USA, but also to include ISO9241 guidelines; Australia Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission – http://www.hreoc.gov.au/ The Act provides key legal standards which inform their Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/dda1992264). Their disability standards and guidelines are hosted at http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/standards.html. Canada Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act 1976-1977 (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/H-6/relprov.html ) Treasury board of Canada Secretariat The Equity and Diversity Directorate of the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) –  http://commissiondelafonctionpubliqueducanada.com/research/world_ps/canada_e.htm Europe The Euro Accessibility Consortium, launched in Paris on April 28thRead More →

It is an understood factor in travel that if the journey starts even half a degree wrong then the final destination will be considerably different from where the person intended to be, this is for many why there is a make do culture when working with technology requirements. Unfortunately bad requirements gathering can seriously derail a project before it really begins.Read More →

User centered design (UCD) is a project approach that puts the intended users (audience) of a product or piece of technology at the centre of its research, design and development. It does this by talking directly to the user at key points in the project to make sure the product or piece of technology will deliver upon their perceived requirements and align the client with their market. The following elements operate in a cycle being repeated until the project’s objectives have been attained. This makes it critical that the participants in these methods accurately reflect the profile of actual consumers. ISO 13407 outlines four essentialRead More →