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Re: [agile-usability] Re: user centered design overlaps with traditional analysis?

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  • Chris
    It s funny that you mention those failure conditions. There is this product that automatically handes those failures. They call these failures exceptions. For
    Message 1 of 26 , Feb 10, 2005
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      It's funny that you mention those failure conditions. There is this product that automatically handes those failures. They call these failures exceptions. For design, you just have to worry about the happy paths. So far I'm really impressed by its simplicity.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: "Jeff Patton" <jpatton@...>
      Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:53:48
      To:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [agile-usability] Re: user centered design overlaps with traditional analysis?



      I'm just catching up with this list [and the rest of my life for that
      matter...]

      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Josh Seiden <joshseiden@y...>
      wrote:
      > This team has been very detail oriented, so the specs
      > represent a documentation of every possible thing that
      > could ever happen. (What if a fire alarm sounds while
      > the user is eating a low-fat tuna sandwich while
      > entering this data? Is that different from the case in
      > which the tuna sandwich is made with regular tuna
      > salad?")

      These are the failure conditions I hear Alistair Cockburn harp about
      frequently... and he's winning me over. Doing design work often has
      me focusing on the most probable "happy path" and paying a bit less
      attention to failure conditions. Alistair asserts that use cases
      force consideration of those failure conditions sooner. And,
      supporting what he's saying I've seen lots of nasty stuff that causes
      delays in development bubble out of the failure conditions. But,
      often that nasty stuff only slightly affects UI design or user
      interactions.

      Is it safe to assume that fire-alarm-with-low-fat-tuna-salad was a
      failure condition on a use case? Did you have use cases to work
      from, and did you find that the usecases documented basic user
      interaction reasonably - in a way useful for your design work?

      Thanks,

      -Jeff







      Yahoo! Groups Links









      Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.
    • Cummins, Darin
      We ve only recently started writing use-cases, so take this for what it is worth. When we sit down to create the use-cases (usually with product management, QA
      Message 2 of 26 , Feb 10, 2005
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        We’ve only recently started writing use-cases, so take this for what it is worth.

         

        When we sit down to create the use-cases (usually with product management, QA and someone from customer service all taking the role of “user”), it’s been interesting to see how the UI has changed from what the developer thought it should be, to something that really works for the user.  By discussing the failure conditions and how the UI is going to respond, the developers have really been re-thinking the entire front end, especially how it interacts with the backend.

         

        We had one project recently where a developer created the UI based on the simple requirements delivered, just the way we use to do it.  Everyone, including people from outside of development, really liked what he had done.  He was then pulled off on another project while we got together and created use-cases.  When we revisited the UI, it became blatantly obvious that it would not work and we redesigned it.  (What a concept!)

         

        Anyway, in that case, the failure conditions and how it was decided to be handled in the UI, actually simplified the way the backend needed to work.

         

        --Darin

         

         

         

         

         


        From: Jeff Patton [mailto:jpatton@...]
        Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 7:54 AM
        To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [agile-usability] Re: user centered design overlaps with traditional analysis?

         


        I'm just catching up with this list [and the rest of my life for that
        matter...]

        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Josh Seiden <joshseiden@y...>
        wrote:
        > This team has been very detail oriented, so the specs
        > represent a documentation of every possible thing that
        > could ever happen. (What if a fire alarm sounds while
        > the user is eating a low-fat tuna sandwich while
        > entering this data? Is that different from the case in
        > which the tuna sandwich is made with regular tuna
        > salad?")

        These are the failure conditions I hear Alistair Cockburn harp about
        frequently... and he's winning me over.  Doing design work often has
        me focusing on the most probable "happy path" and paying a bit less
        attention to failure conditions.  Alistair asserts that use cases
        force consideration of those failure conditions sooner.  And,
        supporting what he's saying I've seen lots of nasty stuff that causes
        delays in development bubble out of the failure conditions.  But,
        often that nasty stuff only slightly affects UI design or user
        interactions.

        Is it safe to assume that fire-alarm-with-low-fat-tuna-salad was a
        failure condition on a use case?  Did you have use cases to work
        from, and did you find that the usecases documented basic user
        interaction reasonably - in a way useful for your design work?

        Thanks,

        -Jeff






      • Jamie Nettles
        Absolutely. I use software to accomplish tasks. I want the software to work. I want to get the job done efficiently and move on. Makes me want to reread
        Message 3 of 26 , Feb 24, 2005
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          Absolutely. I use software to accomplish tasks. I want the software to work. I want to get the job done efficiently and move on. Makes me want to reread "Software for Use".

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Larry Constantine [mailto:lconstantine@...]
          > Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 11:00 AM
          > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Naming the thing (was "user
          > centered design overlaps with traditional analysis?)
          >
          >
          > Josh et al.,
          >
          > Ux (user experience) design does seem to be winning the
          > branding race, in part because it is so wonderfully fuzzy and
          > capable of covering almost anything and everything--the
          > entire "experience" of the user. Aside from the philosophical
          > and semantic issue of whether anyone can ever design
          > another's experience (and this from someone who wrote a
          > classic article on psychotherapy training titled "Designed
          > Experience"), it is precisely the enormous potential purview
          > of UxD that is worrisome.
          >
          > Ultimately what gives users a good experience is their
          > ability to do what they need to do efficiently and
          > dependably. Supporting effective user performance is 90% of
          > the story, which is why we make that the centerpiece of
          > USAGE-centered design. The problem with so much of
          > user-experience design and user-centered approaches in
          > practice, is that they spend so much time and attention on
          > matters that may be fun and interesting and help make users
          > feel appreciated and attended to while promoting full
          > employment for Ux designers but that have little if anything
          > to do with the really important stuff in visual and
          > interaction design.
          >
          > (Would you believe, for example, a forthcoming book on
          > personas argues that clipart headshots or stock photos are
          > not "real" enough and should not be used to illustrate
          > personas. Instead, each team should go out and do its own
          > photo shoots of real people based on careful research on how
          > best to embody each persona. Somebody, methinks, has too much
          > time on their hands.)
          >
          > We use small, simple, scaled-down abstract models to focus on
          > the bare essentials with the greatest impact because we want
          > to use our limited time for designing a user interface that
          > really works for users, rather than for shooting and editing
          > compelling videotapes, compiling and categorizing great heaps
          > of stick-notes, or concocting believable biographies for
          > fictitious users whose profiles can be turned into
          > large-format color posters to grace the walls of the
          > development facility.
          >
          > Okay, I know I am a minority voice here (and when or where
          > has it been otherwise?), but I have seen too many loftily
          > user-centered projects miss the boat completely because they
          > missed the central point of good design. It is not about
          > users, it is about uses (or usage, if you prefer).
          >
          > --Larry Constantine, IDSA [mailto:lconstantine@...]
          >   Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd. | www.foruse.com
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: Josh Seiden [mailto:joshseiden@...]
          > > Sent: Tuesday, 01 February 2005 6:10 PM
          > > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [agile-usability] Naming the thing (was "user
          > centered design
          > overlaps with
          > > traditional analysis?)
          > >
          > >
          > > Since this has come up a lot recently, I thought I'd chime in.
          > >
          > > There is a growing movement to call the larger practice of
          > > user-centered-design by the name "User Experience Design",
          > "Experience
          > > Design" or simply, "UX", and to consider the word
          > "usability" in it's
          > > narrow meaning.
          > >
          > > This naming convention is based on a couple of ideas:
          > >
          > > 1. That as products and services become more complex, they require
          > > people who practice a variety of disciplines to get the
          > > product/service built.
          > >
          > > An e-commerce site might need interaction design, information
          > > architecture, usability evaluation graphic design, service design,
          > > corporate identity design, etc.
          > >
          > > 2. Some of these people have titles that identify the single
          > > discipline they practice (graphic design) and other do not.
          > (As noted,
          > > "usability people" might practice a variety of disciplines.)
          > >
          > > 3. That there is value in identifying the common thread and
          > methods,
          > > and value in developing the various disciplines with greater rigor.
          > >
          > > Thus, we're starting to see some umbrella organizations emerge to
          > > represent the larger practice of User Experience Design. These
          > > organizations include AIGA-ED and UXnet.net.
          > >
          > > We're also starting to see some new discipline-focused
          > organizations
          > > like AIFIA and IxDG that advocate for more narrow
          > definitions of their
          > > respective disciplines.
          > >
          > > And of course, as with all naming exercises, this one had plenty of
          > > politics and controversy too. ;-)
          > >
          > > JS
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- Kay Burnett <kayburnett2002@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > > I have
          > > > thought for some time that the title or topic of
          > "usability" needs
          > > > to either be defined narrowly or be expanded
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Larry Constantine
          Jamie wrote: Absolutely. I use software to accomplish tasks. I want the software to work. I want to get the job done efficiently and move on. Makes me
          Message 4 of 26 , Feb 25, 2005
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            Jamie wrote:

            "Absolutely. I use software to accomplish tasks. I want the software to
            work. I want to get the job done efficiently and move on. Makes me want to
            reread "Software for Use"."

            Go for it! :-) I'll even autograph your copy.

            I am increasingly convinced that mainstream user-centered design has drifted
            off target, although I get brickbats every time I dare to suggest this in
            public. I did stick my neck out recently in the Cutter IT Journal in a
            provocative article called "Beyond User-Centered Design"
            (http://www.cutter.com/offers/userdesign.html).

            --Larry Constantine, IDSA
            Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood Ltd | www.foruse.com
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