Winning with Usage-Centered Design
- The performance-centered design people run an annual design competion, and
this year's winning entry was a usage-centered design submitted jointly by
German industrial giant Siemens AG and American consulting firm Constantine
& Lockwood, Ltd. This achievement definitely supports our claim that
up-front design with task cases is the route to truly world-class product
design, especially for complex, highly-sophisticated applications. You'll
find details and our winning submission for Step 7 Lite, an innovative PLC
programming IDE for automation applications, at http://foruse.com/.
This was a model-driven development project based on essential use cases and
usage-centered design. To give an idea of the scope of this two-year-plus
development project, the initial task model included 342 use cases
supporting 19 different user roles! The initial user interface design
included complete abstract prototypes for 25 distinct interaction contexts
and detailed visual and interaction designs for 18 of these covering 90% of
the most important task cases. This design was complete and ready for the
first usability inspection in 14 weeks!
The results reflect the payoffs from complete task modeling, which enabled a
design that markedly cut user steps and errors through a close fit to the
work, and from abstract prototyping, which facilitated an innovative and
effective user interface design. (One judge in the competition described the
design as "enormously impressive,...a wonderful stretching of the EPSS
[electronic performance-support system] paradigm.")
Congratulations are in order to team-leader Helmut Windl and his colleagues
Helmut Fritz, Harald Gebauer, Wolfgang Sperl, and Eberhardt Ohlert as well
as our consulting associates James Noble and Meilir Page-Jones. Bravo!
Director of Research & Development | Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd.
58 Kathleen Circle | Rowley, MA 01969
t: +1 978 948 5012 | f: +1 978 948 5036 | www.foruse.com