Methods & Tools

Methods & Tools

The methods & tools developed in the DfU project are remodelled into easy-to-use leaflets, booklets, cardsets and so on. In the list below you can find more info about these deliverables and download the items.


Decision Making

by: Christelle Harkema

During the symposium on the 10th November 2011 Christelle Harkema executed two workshops on ‘Improving usability related decision-making’. During these workshops she presented the results of her PhD research project using examples from practice provided by the participants. Based on these examples the influencing factors uncertainty and unawareness were explained, including the aspects that define these factors. As a reminder of this workshop all participants received a leaflet with a short description of the workshop and a visualisation of the influencing factors on usability related decisions.

> Download leaflet: workshop guide and visualisation of usability uncertainty


Design Methodology

by: Frederik Hoolhorst

This handout provides an overview of the main steps of the UCD Kick-off tool. This tool was presented on 10 November 2011 at the symposium Usability Methods & Tools in Utrecht. The UCD kick-off tool supports product development teams in four main steps in defining a detailed user-centred plan of approach (PoA) based on the specific characteristics of the product as well as the development environment. Since usability is only one out of many aspects to consider in product development, this tool focuses on usability, but does not exclude other product aspects. The UCD kick-off tool can be seen as a reference methodology discussing aspects which need to be considered while defining a usability and user-centred PoA. The tool is based on the assumption that an explicit and detailed definition of a user-centred PoA prevents usability problems. Input for the tool is a design brief describing desired basic product characteristics, process and project constraints and the core development team. Output of the tool is a detailed user-centred PoA describing intended product characteristics, intermediate development results, selected development methods, development activities, input per development activity and allocation of resources.

> Download handout: UCD Kick-off tool


Dynamic Use Situations

by: Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer

This booklet contains guidelines on how to deal with the dynamics and diversity of use situations in the design process. The guidelines support designers in dealing with the fact that industrially manufactured products are used by varying users, for varying purposes in varying contexts of use. This ‘dynamics and diversity of use situations’ influences the level of usability and therefore should be taken into account in the design process. The guidelines explain how to analyse and explore those use situations and how to apply them as a frame of reference in usability evaluations.

> Download booklet: guidelines to design for dynamic and diverse use situations


Envisioning Use

by: Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, Stella Boess & Christelle Harkema

This booklet is a ‘user guide’ for the Envisioning Use workshop, a team technique which helps teams create a common vision on product use in an early product development phase. The main goal of the workshop is to share and align all the ideas that members of a product development team have with regard to who future users will be, in which situations the product will be used and which usability or user experience issues need to be addressed in these situations. With the help of this guide you should be able to set up and execute your own Envisioning Use workshop.

> Download booklet: User Guide for the Envisioning Use workshop


Method Selection

by: Tristan Weevers

We are working to make the Method Selection tool available for you in about a year. In the meantime, you are invited to take a look at the method collections that have been completed. This card-set contains the ten most practical and widely used method collections for user-centred design. Each collection has its own advantages and disadvantages because of a specific scope, categorization, method selection (if any) and detail in which methods are explained. Each collection is explained by the aforementioned points to make the search for a collection (to search in for an appropriate method…) easier.

> Visit: Webapplication for UCD method selection (

> Download card set: Overview of UCD method collections


Product Impact

by: Steven Dorrestijn

The Product Impact Tool consists of a model which frames different types of product impact, and a format for organising a Product Impact Session. In a Product Impact Session a concept, prototype or existing product is analysed with the purpose of discovering the changing effects of technology on users. To achieve this, one has to deliberately think the other way around: not from user needs to a technical solution, but from a product (or concept, prototype) to its possible effects on the user. The model with types of product impact structures this analysis. In this way user-changing effects are revealed and ideas for redesigns will be generated.

> Download leaflet: Product Impact

> Web-based repertoire of examples: Product Impact Tool beta

> Contact Steven Dorrestijn for workshops, courses and advise


User Characteristics

by: Chajoong Kim

The card set first provides the definitions of three categories of soft usability problems with examples in short-term and long-term use interaction. The interaction between user characteristics, product type and soft usability problems were categorized and translated into product and user profiles, which are illustrated in the card set. Product profile is a source where you can find expected soft usability problems of a product you are developing. User profile is a source where you can identify who your target group is and what soft usability problems they would meet in using a product you are developing.

> Download card set: product and user profiles


Usability in Practice

by: Jasper van Kuijk

Based on best practices identified during his three case studies, as well as on existing literature on usability in practice, Van Kuijk developed recommendations for industry on how to organize a company if the goal is to develop usable products. There are 25 recommendations, distributed over 6 themes (Usability 101, Team, Process, Project, Company, Market). The recommendations were ‘user tested’ by posting them online on Van Kuijk’s research weblog and inviting feedback from practitioners and researchers. This resulted in a final online version, which was made available in the form of a card set (pdf and hardcopy). A workshop was devised in which the card set is used as a starting point for various disciplines to discuss how their company could become more user-centered.

> Download card set: recommendations for usability in practice