To collect and agree information about:
- Why is the system being developed? What are the overall objectives?
How will it be judged as a success?
- Who are the intended users and what are their tasks? (Why will
they use the system? What is their experience and expertise?)
- Who are the other stakeholders and how might they be impacted
by the consequences of a usable or unusable system?
- What are the stakeholder and organisational requirements?
- What are the technical and environmental constraints? (What
types of hardware will be used in what environments?)
- What key functionality is needed to support the user needs?
- How will the system be used? What is the overall workflow (e.g.
from deciding to use the system, through operating it to obtaining
results)? What are typical scenarios of what the users can achieve?
- What are the usability goals?
(e.g. How important is ease of use and ease of learning? How long
should it take users to complete their tasks? Is it important
to minimise user errors? What GUI style guide should be used?)
- How will users obtain assistance?
- Are there any initial design concepts?
- Is there an existing or competitor system?
- Ensure that all factors that relate to use of the system are
identified before design work starts.
- Bring together all the people relevant to the development, to
create a common vision.
Arrange a half-day meeting. Invite stakeholders who have knowledge
about the business objectives, the intended users and usage. This
- business manager
- project manager
- user representative(s)
The first three are key areas. You will also need a facilitator
and a person to record the information provided during the meeting.
- Identify the key issues you need to explore.
- Provide all participants with a copy of a list of the issues
to be discussed at the meeting.
Try to obtain consensus where there is uncertainty or disagreement.
If information is missing, agree how this can be obtained. Avoid
prolonged discussion of minor issues.
Obtain any missing information. If the information is not easily
available, arrange a field study to observe
users in their work environment.
Circulate to all participants a summary of the conclusions.
If possible hold this meeting before the functional requirements
have been finalised, but the meeting is important even if user centred
design is introduced late in the development process. All stakeholders
should attend the first meeting. Hold additional smaller meetings
if more detail is required.
More detailed information on planning user centred design can be
found in the INUSE
Handbook and the RESPECT
Collect and agree detailed information about the context