Methods & Tools sessions

World Usability Day 2012 symposium – Methods & Tools sessions


1. A shared vision on product use

By: Dr. Ir. Stella Boess, Delft University of Technology & Dr. Ir. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, University of Twente

A shared vision on product use supports team decision making when selecting the best design proposals, choosing the optimal product use situations, and deciding on which steps have to be taken with regard to usability research. In this workshop, we present the results of the successful evaluation of our ‘Envisioning Use’ workshop technique that was developed specifically for this purpose. Furthermore we discuss the need for an explicit representation of product use to further support the creation and maintenance of a shared vision on product use. Our workshop is particularly valuable for those design professionals working in (multidisciplinary) product development teams.


2. Participatory workflow design game

By: Julia Garde MSc., University of Twente

Designing for use situations in which people, products, facilities, procedures and information are interconnected is a complex process, , for example when designing products for hospitals or airports. In order to get insights into future use situations, users who hold relevant experience and specialist knowledge about the use context should be involved early in the design process. In this workshop you are able to try out and discuss a low-threshold, hands-on design game technique, developed specially for the participation of users in the early phases of the design process. It facilitates the creation and playing out of scenarios on a game board in order to gain insights into future use situations. The game provides a medium for users to express their ideas and explore design options in a specific context. Designers and developers engaged or interested in designing for (professional) interconnected contexts as well as practitioners from service organizations are welcome to join our workshop.


3. Revealing unawareness in usability related decision-making

By: Christelle Harkema PhD, MSc., Eindhoven University of Technology

These days it is highly challenging to develop increasingly complex products, with their even more complex interactions and their wide variety of users. Design for usability is becoming ever more important. Many usability techniques are available to create complex products, however often suboptimal decisions related to usability are made, resulting in usability issues. During this workshop we reflect on decisions made in the product design process that led to usability issues and the factors influencing these decisions. We then focus on the factor of ‘unawareness’ and how to address the sources of this critical factor.

Please note that this workshop is similar to last year’s workshop


4. Using Virtual Reality in User Centered Design

By: Jos Thalen MSc., University of Twente

VR (Virtual Reality) allows us to experience (see, hear, feel, control) things that do not yet exist. This makes it an attractive support tool for user centered product design; end-users can experience future products without the need for designers to create expensive physical prototypes. We firstly present an overview of a number of case studies where VR facilitated user centered design tasks. We then discuss some of the pros and cons encountered.  During the second part of the workshop, we invite you to brainstorm and discuss potential VR opportunities and bottlenecks in your specific design domain. The workshop is intended for product design practitioners with (some) experience in user centered design.


5. UCD toolbox – find, learn and apply UCD-methods

By: Tristan Weevers MSc., Delft University of Technology

More than 200 methods are available for use within User-Centred Design projects. Selecting one of them can be a difficult and time-consuming job. As a result, many methods are left unused, although selecting the wrong method or using a method inappropriately can result in poor design decisions. The UCDtoolbox is an on-line platform that facilitates the dissemination of methods and tools for User Centered Design. In contrast to other current method collections, the UCDtoolbox database will remain up-to-date as a result of interactions between method developers and practitioners in the design field. This demonstration will show a fully working beta version of UCDtoolbox. Check out the website for more details.

Please note that this is NOT the same workshop as last year, but a live demonstration of the actual tool.