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CHI-WEB  July 2003, Week 4

CHI-WEB July 2003, Week 4

Subject:

Summary: 'Process+Tools+Guidelines' to do the right thing

From:

Pradyot Rai <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 28 Jul 2003 15:35:07 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (758 lines)

Few days back, I started looking around to find out about the general
practices in organizations following RUP and UCD. I was also interested to
learn how ‘design’ and ‘engineering’ plays together around these
processes.

Here’s my original post –
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am in the middle of discussion with Engineering team here and the issue
is arround following -

1. what UI processes we follow within the frame work of RUP?
2. What tools we use to prototype/wireframing the concept? There's
aggument between majority Frontpage loyalists (Techies) Vs. Dreamweaver
supporters.
3. Should be write 'standards' first or do the 'design' first?

I am also wondering on following lines -

1. Why does UI design has to believe in RUP at all?
(Why going Rational way, and not following all UCD's recomendations?)
I am leaning to be sympathetic about the view point expressed in the
article "UI RUPture" follow this link -
http://www.uidesign.net/2000/opinion/UIRupture.html

2. What benefit can it give to any one to limit 'Prototyping' (or the
Design) with tool?

Any discussion on the above points, suggestions, links, papers, etc. will
be highly appreciated. I am facing an uphill task to build case for
Usability in a startup, where Techie's dance on RUP's tune.

Your comments will be most welcome. If you want to send it to me directly,
kindly do so and I can summarize it at the end.

Pradyot Rai


I am publishing all the replies I collected (from SIGIA & CHI-WEB) as
summary here. I have listed all the replies in the order I received them
(with just few exceptions).

The response of everybody who wrote was simply great and very insightful.
I thank everybody who participated.

------------------------------------------------------------------
“Ralph Lord” ["Lord, Ralph" <[log in to unmask]>] wrote:

Pradyot,

Have been walking many of the same paths you mention this past year and
have some thoughts on your questions:

1. Indeed, RUP really doesn't say anything about HOW one arrives at a
design for the UI. It merely has the role "UI Designer" and suggests
creating "Use Case Storyboards" and "UI Prototype".  However, it implies
that this work is done after all the reqts gathering and most
design/analysis (meaning technical D and A) have been done.  I would
mostly agree with the UIRupture article and am a big fan of Larry
Constantine's work.  In a similar way, RUP doesn't really say much about
HOW to gather the reqts, but just sort of assumes that you'll get them and
then directs you to house them in ReqPro or vision/SRS/SAD documents.  We
have had some success in using "Visual Use Cases"(TM) which are simply
wireframes attached to use-cases and used as early as possible to validate
and clarify what the users/stakeholders think
they are specifying in the use-case. Users like them because they are
pictures, developers like them because they are use-cases.  Trick is
introducing them at a high enough level of abstraction so that people
don't think you are designing the UI in them.

2.  Who cares what tool?  We use visio for static and often use
PowerPoint, yes, PowerPoint for "clickable" prototypes. PPT has the
advantage of being simple and easy to distribute (not always the case with
Visio). We also use Dreamweaver but that's just a personal preference.
It's an unnecessary distraction to argue about which tool.

3.  same as #2

On another note, we have also been pushing a new role in RUP we call "User
Experience Analyst" which sounds like a RUP role and whose
responsibilities are what you would expect. See attachment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ziya, [Listera <[log in to unmask]>] replied with some great and very
interesting points -

"[log in to unmask]" wrote:

> I am in the middle of discussion with Engineering team at my new employer
> and the issue is arround following -

Ouch. I don't envy your position. Once fundamentalism (in the guise of a
specific technology, product or method) enters a company, it's pretty hard
to get reformation going.

The first thing you have to do is to change the terms of the argument.

1.  Decouple the prototype from the actual developmental model. As long as
the developers define the prototype as an adjunct process internal to
them, you've already lost the battle, you'll have to follow their lead.

2.  The prototype should demonstrate *functionality*, nothing more nothing
less. It should *not* be a functional model for development. As long as
the prototype communicates the intended functionality, user experience,
workflow, etc., it has fulfilled 100% of its mission.

3.  The prototype is *not* for the sole benefit of developers. Its scope
includes all stakeholders: management, key clients and even some users,
because they'll all make decisions/contributions via the prototype long
before any development can/should start.

4.  If you can, do the prototype with technology *different* from what the
actual product will use in order to dispel the notion that it's part of
development.

5.  You are not there to do the developers' job. The fact that the
prototype might help (at the code-level) any part of the development
process should be coincidental, not a prerequisite.

6.  You should create the prototype in whatever format you feel
comfortable with and the developers should then create their development
model and code based on it in whatever framework/language/platform they
feel comfortable with. If the two intersect, that's OK. But it should not
be the goal.

7.  If the entire process of prototyping, documentation and discussion on
prototyping, documentation, methodology, etc., is taking up more time than
the actual UI design, you already know something is wrong. (In large
projects with one group or another taking a fundamentalist position, this
is often the case.)

8.  Don't get fixated on specific technology/product. Don't let others
drag you into it either. "UI design" was around long before RUP and it'll
surely survive it.

9.  What authoring tool to use should be left to those who will use it. If
they feel they have to use FrontPage (shrug) let'em use it. If they are
not the ones doing the HTML markup, they shouldn't care what authoring
tool generates it, as long as it's clean, valid markup.

10. Get everyone to understand what's important: the product and how it
serves the users. Anything else should be subservient. No one will care
what authoring tool/language/methodology was used; the user gets to
experience only the final product. So think of the process as reverse
engineering that final goal, hopefully, without letting specific products
distorting/derailing it.

The archives of this list alone is full of tales of developers dictating
terms and affecting the final product, essentially by intimidating the
rest of the team since they are the ones who will ultimately code the
final product. As an IA (or UX/ID) without technical knowledge, you may be
at their mercy. You can argue up to a point but as you're playing on their
terms you're most likely to lose the battle. That's why it's so important
to decouple the prototype from development.

Now, up to this point I seemed to have argued against developers. Since
I've been a designer and developer for well over a decade, I can see both
sides of the issue. And I can easily argue against some of the untenable
issues created by the front-end architects/designers/modelers who are
clueless about the technical ramifications of their specs. So it cuts both
ways.

Finally, if anyone tells you UI design is a "science" and they have the
ultimate formula, run.

Ziya
Nullius in Verba
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the reply to above mail fron “Ziya”, I wrote -

Ziya said -

> The archives of this list alone is full of tales of developers
> dictating terms and affecting the final product, essentially by
> intimidating the rest of the team since they are the ones who will
> ultimately code the final product. As an IA (or UX/ID) without
> technical knowledge, you may be at their mercy. You can argue up to a
> point but as you're playing on their terms you're most likely to lose
> the battle. That's why it's so important to decouple the prototype
> from development.

Ziya's comment makes me feel that software engineering is runs in similar
manner as Afganistan was by the Warlords :)

I am trying to understand if there's any ethical reason, 'value' addition,
etc. which can be addressed to build case for usability, without making it
obvious that this is a fight 'for-the-survival' or
'you-comply-to-my-standards'...

Having said all this, all that I have received so far has elevated my
intellect already. And I am already marching towards Kabul. Thanks guys!

Pradyot Rai


Following were ‘Ziya’s great words –

"[log in to unmask]" wrote:

> Ziya's comment makes me feel that software engineering is runs in similar
> manner as Afganistan was by the Warlords :)

Which, of course, brings back memories for some of us of another image
from another war: "save the village by burning it". :-) An inordinate
number of corporate projects fail because of politics. Even those that
look like technology failures are often victims of bad (technical) choices
made under political pressure, turf conflicts, technological
fundamentalism, etc. When working in/for large corporations, it's crucial
to understand this early on.

> I am trying to understand if there's any ethical reason, 'value' addition,
> etc. which can be addressed to build case for usability, without making it
> obvious that this is a fight 'for-the-survival' or
> 'you-comply-to-my-standards'...

There's a subtle but very important distinction here and it depends on
*when* you apply usability considerations during development.

A typical scenario is: select technology/vendor -> build around the
capabilities/limitations of that product (many CRM or CMS projects fall
into this category, for example). It may be too little & too late to graft
some sort of usability guidelines to a product/process already well
defined by other (mostly technological) considerations. How many times
have you seen a
product getting a "review" by a usability expert mere days before it's
actually launched? And those people will proudly list usability as one of
their features in product descriptions; after all, they did hire a
usability expert. :-)

So the argument comes back to: can you define the product by how it's
used/perceived by its users? And not by how fast its app server runs or
how thick its UML documentation is or what bleeding technology it happens
to use. Can you, in fact, declare that if a given set of usability
guidelines aren't successfully met the product should be considered a
failure? If you
can get people to buy into that then reverse engineering that goal becomes
a fairly straightforward process every member of the team (including the
developers) can follow.

Now there are a bunch numbers for ROI on usability, etc. You should find
some in the archives. But I suspect it'll ultimately come down to
rhetoric:
how cogently, forcefully and credibly can you make the argument that the
product is how the users perceive it, and everything else follows from
that.

You might think I'm being a bit aggressive here, but, hey, I'm from New
York. You don't have to be confrontational, but you need to be cognizant
of the nature of the beast. OK, think Mata Hari. :-)

> And I am already marching towards Kabul.

And don't drink the water ;-)

Ziya
Nullius in Verba
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathy Marshak, comments were especially insightful on the topic of RUP and
UCD. Very useful stuff -

Hi Pradyot,
The question of what UI processes to use within a RUP framework is a great
one. At my company we've tailored RUP to include more user-centered design
approaches. Specifically, we've done the following:
 -- added an IA role with IA activities that produce site maps,
wireframes, etc.
 -- added a usability evaluator role that plans and conducts heuristic
reviews & lab-based empirical usability testing
 -- added other roles, activities, and artifacts related to creative
design, content, branding, etc.

We perform specific user-centered design activities (usually iteratively)
within the RUP phases of Inception, Elaboration, Construction, and
Transition. (see http://www.iconprocess.com/iconProcess/phases.php for
details).

Our approach to the user experience discipline (which for us replaces
RUP's requirements discipline) is explained at
http://www.iconprocess.com/iconProcess/ueWorkflow.php. These activities
integrate with RUP activities for defining use cases, etc.

If you have more questions or want details on our approach, feel free to
contact me off list.

best regards,
Kathy Marshak, Director of Process Development
IconMedialab | www.iconmedialab.com
IconProcess | www.iconprocess.com
Training | www.training.iconmedialab.com
voice: + 1 636 530 7776

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Gilmore’s (David Gilmore <[log in to unmask]>) reply

on 7/17/03 9:30 AM, Pradyot Rai at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> Any discussion on the above points, suggestions, links, papers, etc. will
> be highly appreciated. I am facing an uphill task to build case for
> Usability in a startup, where Techie's dance on RUP's tune.
>
> Your comments will be most welcome. If you want to send it to me directly,
> kindly do so and I can summarize it at the end.

It seems to me that the fundamental issue here is that this is all a
failure of the software industry / community to develop a clear
understanding of the distinction between design and engineering.

In hard product design there is a well-established and well understood
boundary (which is at the same time fuzzy and fluid) between design and
engineering and which does not require that they occur in order (in fact
they cannot occur in strict linear order). Moreover the design part of
this process explicitly includes an appreciation of both the system
architecture and the user experience.

In software it has always seemed to me that people refer to software
design and software engineering almost interchangeably. And the 'design'
part often doesn't really include the UI explicitly and almost never
addresses the user
experience. Usability usually is addressed in the engineering.

RUP may be a perfectly reasonable software engineering process, but it
doesn't seem to me to come near to what is required for true software
design (aka interaction design) - it isn't clear that it is even relevant
to the design half of this equation.

Of course, I could be totally wrong - my experience in this space in the
last few years has been fairly limited, but I haven't seen much to make me
think the world has changed.

David Gilmore

And off the topic pun from Sean Coon, ([log in to unmask]) –

Pradyot Rai:

"...Having said all this, all that I have received so far has elevated my
intellect already. And I am already marching towards Kabul. Thanks
guys!..."

======================"Oh Lord, don't let *him* drop that atomic bomb on me!"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/clipserve/B000002JLQ001005/0/002-8527699-6684019

;)

/*spcoon*/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Marios Pittas’ great suggestions, full of rich experience -

Rai

> I am in the middle of discussion with Engineering team at my new employer

At no one point, allow it to become usability team vs software development
team. When that happens it is a 6 x loose situation:
        1. loose (usability engineers - they want a successful product)
        2. loose (developers - they also want to see a successful product)
        3. loose (product - it could have been a successful product)
        4. loose (organisation - lost opportunities)
        5. loose (stakeholders - lost opportunities).
        6. loose (end users get something that could have been better)

> 2. What tools we use to prototype/wireframing the concept? There's
> argument between majority Frontpage loyalists (Techies) Vs. Dreamweaver
> supporters.

? Use pen and paper.. Prototyping and wireframing are very good to have
(some say must have).. Although the tool can have an effect on the number
of iterations, willingness to change, willingness to test various designs
at least you are at step 1, people are willing to do a prototype… Very
good... If you are there for the long term let them/use whatever they give
you... Evaluate as you go along and try to bring them in the process as
much as possible so that they can see the benefits...

> 3. Should we write 'standards' first or do the 'design' first?

Of course you need to write the standards first... but can you? is not
always possible... maybe the technology they are using will impose
constraints that you are not aware.. Have a look at "The Usability
Engineering Lifecycle" by
Mayhew.. She covers this (as well as other topics) extremely well.. if you
cannot create the standards because of technology issues, one good
strategy is to work closely with the developers on one part of the
application and
create standards based on that work.. that way developers understand that
they had a part to play (AND THEY DO).. so it becomes "OUR" standards vs
"YOUR" standards.. very important..

> 2. What benefit can it give to any one to limit 'Prototyping' (or the
> Design) with tool?

Read: Schrage, M. (1996). Cultures of Prototyping. In Winograd, T. (Ed.),
Bringing Design to Software (pp. 191-205). Addison Wesley.

> 3. Is there any survey/pool, any logic to suggest which one is
> better/ethical/moral tool - 'Microsoft FrontPage' and 'Macromedia
> Dreamweaver'???

? Amusing case of "MY" tool is better than "YOUR"s.. :) No issue that
there are differences between tools.. But isn't the product/usability/end
users/organisation/ etc more important than which tool.. try to get the
technique in the development process, maybe cover deficiencies of the tool
through hard work (so that usability can "gain value" in the eyes of the
developers) and next round suggest that some of the work is done with
another tool that does not suffer from some of the observed deficiencies..

>From the same book "Bringing Design to Software", also read Don Norman's
Account of tackling the Mac shut down button.. Taken from his time when he
was director of user experience in Apple.. Not all simple problems have
simple solutions... Sometimes you need to compromise, sometimes you need
to let go of the issue...

Marios

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Chavan (EXT), Sameer" [log in to unmask] provided great analysis on
the question of prototyping tools -

Hi Pradyot,

I also did a study for Front page Vs Dreamweaver to prove to management.
Normally the company has Fornt page as it gets bundled with Microsoft
products. Then it becomes difficult to tell the management that we want
Dreamweaver.
There are some points that i showed them...
===========================================
Comparison between Dreamweaver and Microsoft front page is like a battle
between Windows and Mac users. But I will tell you that, Dreamweaver is
the widely used software in Web development and authorizing. It can also
create JSP, a very good tool for any developer working in advance html.

I will just put some Quotes that i found on net

----------------------------------------
First DreamWeaver is now called UltraDev. Its a newer version. DreamWeaver
is one of the best if not the best WYSIWYG tool for cross-browser
coding/development. Its learning curve is a little steeper than FP 2000.
But it give you more options and features. Its a more popular and FP2000
is the a really good tool for novices to the web development area but as
you get more familiar with web development you will learn to hate Front
page2000.  It has great features but also generates code that is biased to
IE and sometimes won't work on Netscape.

I would recommend Ultradev/Dreamweaver.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Q_11166447.html
------------------------------------------------------

Microsoft® Front Page 2000 vs Macromedia® Dreamweaver 4
"The Battle!"
If you just want to know the verdict... Macromedia wins the race, and quite
comfortably for the ADVANCED USERS
http://www.indianflair.com/articles/fpvsmd.htm

----------------------------------------------------------

There is no comparison between Front Page and dreamweaver! In my opinion,
Dreamweaver is God's gift to web developers.
http://lists.suse.com/archive/suse-linux-e/2001-Jan/0487.html

-------------------------------------------------------

Why should I convert from FrontPage to Dreamweaver?
Dreamweaver enables you to easily design a complex site, maintain total
control over
code, and scale your site to integrate with leading Web solutions. Please
see the
<http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/product_resources/dwfp_feature_by_feature.pdf>
feature-by-feature comparison (281 kb pdf) for more specific information
http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/product_resources/frontpage_faq.html
----------------------------------------------------

To sum up we found that there are many tools that can be used to create a
professional business site. In my point of view I found that Macromedia
Dreamweaver
4 is the suitable software that I recommend our company to use. We prefer
using it
because it is a simple tool to build a unique business web site, and most
of the big
professional companies use this tool. When trying it we found it easy to
insert
tables and format the cells as we like. The price of the package is quite
high, but
it worth because of the excellent features that it has.

http://asia.ecommerce.hct.ac.ae/Level3/Project19.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Picking the issue of Prototyping from ‘Ziya’ reply, "Jon Hanna"
[log in to unmask] replied -

> 4.  If you can, do the prototype with technology *different* from what the
> actual product will use in order to dispel the notion that it's part of
> development.

Agreed. On a similar line anything that isn't decided in the current
prototype should be obviously wrong. Take the joking design rule "if you
can't make it good make it big, if you can't make it big make it red, if
you can't make it red make it blink" seriously in this case. Controls that
respond with error messages are similarly good. This prevents "rough
version
of this section" becoming "ah, we'll change it with 2.0".

P.S. do your techies seriously like FrontPage? Weird.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd R. Warfel replied in favor of Dreamweaver. Strong rhetoric and very
good points -

DW, no question. FP is a bastardized WYSIWYG program that inserts all
kinds of proprietary, non-standard HTML.

You can argue that it's just a prototype and you'll be throwing it away.
But with DW, which is more of an environment than a WYSIWYG editor, you
can produce standards based prototypes and learn how to build real
standards based products. Not to mention, there's a whole world of
extensions out there for DW which increase productivity (see Macromedia's
Exchange) and it's pretty much "the" standard. Yes, there are others that
are used, but they hold the market, which in this case isn't a bad thing.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel

Message first: a user experience consultancy
..--.==.--.==.--.==.--.==.--.==.--.==.--.
User Experience Architect
[P] (607) 339-9640
[E]  [log in to unmask]
[w] http://www.messagefirst.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
’Dan Wendling’ [<[log in to unmask]>] posted a very interesting
link, picking up from Ziya’s comment -

Ziya wrote:

> An inordinate number of corporate projects fail because of
> politics. Even those that look like technology failures are
> often victims of bad (technical) choices made under political
> pressure, turf conflicts, technological fundamentalism, etc.
> When working in/for large corporations, it's crucial to
> understand this early on.

Just FYI, I recently discovered that an influential book on organizational
learning and the lack of same, has been posted to the Internet:

Action Science: Concepts, Methods, and Skills for Research and
Intervention, by Chris Argyris, Robert Putnam, and Diana McLain Smith
(1985), http://www.actiondesign.com/action_science/index.htm.

Compared to most business/management books this one is academic, complex,
and for me a difficult read, but ASIST-minded folk can probably get past
that. The content is not something that can be mastered overnight and is
not a quick fix, but I have found a lot of the ideas to be useful, for
making diagnosis more accurate, if nothing else. Chapter 3, "Theories of
Action," might be worth a look for anyone interested in "politics."

I would be interested to learn of other resources people have found helpful.


Dan Wendling
Electronic Publications Manager
National Rehabilitation Information Center
Lanham MD USA
Get CONNECTed to the latest disability research,
http://www.naric.com/search/rhab/connection

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Wells, Christy H" [log in to unmask] provided links to an
interesting company’s resources (which was also covered by Kathy Marshak
herself earlier) –

You might look at some of the tools from IconMedia lab. They have extended
the Rational Process to include UCD.

http://www.iconprocess.com/

My opinion is that RUP does a poor job of accommodating UCD and is a bit
"intense" for simple website development. But, it can help you get control
of processes. At our company we spent a long 6 months, meeting 2x a week
to add our own UCD activities into the Rational Process.

Christy Wells
Product Manager
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
314-512-3881

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Vincent T. Scordo" [log in to unmask] WROTE -

Dear P.,

I work at a large multi-national company where we have both RUP and
Usability in place; in my view UCD and/or Usability Engineering compliment
or go hand-in-hand with RUP, which is based on iterative design and
development!

Cheers,
Vincent

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Great stuff from Ronny Reitan –

HI

I am currently writing a thesis about RUP and usability (cand. scient. at
NTNU http://www.ntnu.no/indexe.php). I thought I should send you some of
my reflections on the subject.

My thoughts:

You are clearly dealing with two different paradigms within system design:

- The user-centred design movement that attempts to make more usable
software systems through specific techniques (usability engineering,
participatory design, ethnography etc)

- And the more “old fashion” engineering approach, that has a focus on
using structured and objective techniques. Example RUP.

What I believe is one of the problems in the engineering paradigm, is that
UI design is often isolated. The requirements are handed to a UI designer.
Then he/she will attempt to make a user friendly UI based on these
requirements. This is exactly what happened in a RUP project I followed as
a part of my thesis (a case study).

The project had a client which had a set of predefined requirements. The
UI designers then had to make a UI design based on these requirements.
During this design phase the UI designers felt that they were not able to
make informed decisions. They meant that the original requirement where to
shallow and did not give enough information. But they still managed to
“transform” these requirements into UI suggestions. When the client saw
the UI suggestions, they changed their minds. New requirements where added
and old ones where deleted. The client kept changing their minds
throughout the project. The UI designers kept guessing and the client made
corrections. This annoyed some of the project members. My observation is
that, shifting requirements in software development is a common “problem”.

So how do you handle all these shifting requirements? One solution is to
accept it. It’s common in RUP projects to have a requirement handler. The
project mentioned above had one. You accept the changes and change the
code. (Iterative/evolutionary development)

Extreme programming builds it process around this. In the book extreme
programming explained Kent Back talks about how he has learned to “embrace
change”.

So how does the user-centred design movement solve this?
Iterative/evolutionary development is a common approach as in RUP and XP.
But many feel that each iteration should be more informed.

One trend within the user-centred design movement is to use ethnography or
similar techniques for informing systems development. Ethnography is a
social research technique based on studying people's behavior in everyday
contexts. This is in contrast to RUP where requirements are gathered
mostly under controlled conditions (conference rooms, focus groups etc).
Real ethnography is very time consuming, and the approach used in UCD are
often considered quick and dirty, but valuable.

But even if the UI designers are able to make informed decisions, there is
still a challenge in creating good visual/interactive interfaces. There is
nothing in RUP that can help you with this (in my opinion).

My conclusion so far:
RUP’s strength is its ability to manage the construction of large complex
software. But RUP is supposed to be a process that supports the entire
development process, including UI design. If you want to use UCD
techniques in RUP, you have to know what to keep and what to lose/change.
The first thing I would change is the requirements discipline.

Vincent, what form does the requirements disciplines have in you company?

Recommended reading:

RUP & Goal-Directed Design: Toward a New Development Process - Dave Cronin
http://www.cooper.com/content/insights/newsletters/2003_07/RUP_&_GDD.asp

Making use of user research - Gretchen Anderson
http://www.cooper.com/newsletters/2001_09/making_use_of_user_research.htm

Usability Design – Extending Rational Unified Process with a New
Discipline Presentation by Bent Goransson
http://math.uma.pt/dsvis2003/presentations/Bengt.pdf

Contextual Design : A Customer-Centered Approach to Systems Designs Hugh
Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D1558604111/r/002-6176790-3517609

The general acceptance of ethnography in system design John A. Hughes,
Department of Sociology, Lancaster University
http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/computing/research/cseg/projects/coherence/workshop/Hughes.html

Best regards,
Ronny Reitan

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Ronny’s question, Vincent T. Scordo’s [[log in to unmask]] reply -

I'm not sure if I follow your message nor following your conclusions. Here
is my reaction to your comments:

-  The main diff between RUP and any traditional software development life
cycle is iterative development vs. a standard waterfall approach. This is
a fact.

-  User Centered Design (hereafter, Usability Engineering or the UELC as
defined by Deb Mayhew) is also based on iterative UI design - the main
product coming out of software or web development.

-  The two life cycles complement each other.  In our organization we do
Usability Engineering along side the requirements gathering phase.  That
is to say, during the requirements specification stage (use case) we
complete task analysis, user profile, questionnaire/surveys, etc. and this
data informs the requirements (I work side-by-side with the project
leader)

I'm not convinced there is a problem with RUP and UE working well
together.  Again, in my view, system requirments or the functional
specifications are informed by the data coming out of the early phase
usabiliy engineering work.  The requirements doc will then inform the UI
design (whic is iterative) and be validated during late phase usability
testing.

Cheers,
Vincent


That all with the messages I received on the topic. Any comments, replies
which are not included here as part of the summary may be pure
coincidence. I would apologize and correct myself if anyone points out to
any such mistake on my part.

At the end – this issue was carried very interestingly and was looked from
different points of views. It will be in my list of ‘Topic of interests’
for sometime now. If owners of all the comments expressed above have no
objections, I would like to publish comments/findings of this thread in my
articles later. Please send me your comments, objections if you have any.

Best Regards,

Pradyot Rai

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