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Realising UCD. It was there all the time!. Background 1 - DSTO. Design of a range of equipment for defence force use. In order to understand the environment that the equipment was used in, staff undertook jungle training course. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Realising UCDIt was there all the time!

  • Background 1 - DSTODesign of a range of equipment for defence force use.In order to understand the environment that the equipment was used in, staff undertook jungle training course.Installation of systems and training in Vietnam provided major insight into human factors issues.

  • Background 2 - AMCFederal & state government funded centre designed to introduce microelectronics technology to SA industry.Wrong SMEs couldnt justify cost, big defence corporates were doing it anyway.Established an incubation facility with room for 6 start-ups and design/prototype facility.Provided a service for clients who had ideas for products but not the design capabilityCriteria for estimating potential.Outsourced work to a number of external consultants.

  • Developing a MethodologyNeeded to develop a methodology to tie the project team together.Design Continuum Gianfranco Zacci.Integrated design team methodology.In pre-design stage spoke to stakeholders, marketing people and then eventually users!Tested prototypes (usually foam models) with some users/stakeholders and used simulators to test functionality.Projects ranged from electronic products such as irrigation controllers, metal detectors, POS terminals and tennis line calling systems to multimedia training CDROMs.

  • Some Examples

  • Design TeamMulti-disciplinary design teams.Hardware productElectronics engineerPCB designerIndustrial designerProgrammerManufacturer representativeMultimedia training productContent expertInstructional designerGraphic designerProgrammerVideo/audio production

  • More Recent TimesStarted a testing group for the Sydney CMC.Software testing - CDROMs initially and then mostly web applications.Usability testing.Subsidy for SMEs from NSW government.Usually no defined methodology used & developer/programmer thought it was a good idea so built it usually not very well.Testing was usually a last resort/afterthought.Users?

  • Development Lifecycle 1Clients would come to do testing just before going live with the product, find errors but it was too late or too expensive to fix.This would include software and usability issues where marketing pressures would demand release by a certain date.Having done this once or even twice clients begin to realise the importance of doing things early in the development lifecycle.

  • Development Lifecycle 2









    Cost to fix errors

    Stage of lifecycle

    Cost to fix ($)





    Cost to fix errors

    Stage of lifecycle

    Cost to fix ($)



  • RequirementsIt has been reported that 50-65% of issues (error. Bugs etc) are due to the requirements generation stage for mistaken requirements, errors in requirements or incorrect implementation of requirements.GIGO.

  • UCD in PracticeOverall iterative approachRequirement gatheringUser/stakeholder focus groupsEthnographic surveysAlignment with business and technology requirementsDevelopmentExpert reviews and user based evaluationsWire frame prototypesShort sharp evaluations during the lifecycle for quick cheap iterative fixesUATFinal test with usersFunctionality, compatibility and performance testing

  • The UCD ProcessCourtesy of Symplicit Pty Ltd

  • Multidisciplinary Design TeamWith the greater emphasis on the human factor the typical design team consists of:

    Project managerPsychologistInformation architectGraphic designerProgrammerSoftware testersOther experts such as instructional designer etc

  • Other Aspects of UCDCulturalGenderInternationalisationLocalisation

  • Market AreasWebsites (, Insurance)Software applicationsCDROMsEmerging TechnologiesMobile devicesiTVIVR (Suncorp)In car systemsSpeech systems

  • Accessibility & UCDWhen considering the needs of users should consider all users including those disadvantaged in some way.By considering the needs of the disadvantaged user up front, the cost of implementation is only marginally more and often the product is better for those who are not disadvantaged. Wheel chair ramps into building are expensive (and often aesthetically bad) if added after the building is complete

  • Examples

  • Benefits to Others

    Curb cuts not only help people in wheel chairs but people with pushers, skateboard riders, shopping trolleys etcTV captions for people with hearing difficulties can also be used by people in gyms, learning another language, insomniacs.Not just for people with disabilities eg people working in noisy environments, rural users etc

  • LegislationMany countries are introducing legislation that defines guidelines for the procurement, development and usage of information technology.The US federal government has issued section 508 standards detailing requirements to ensure disabled employees and users of federal government services have comparative access to non disabled employees and users.The standards cover: websites, software & operating systems, video &multimedia, self contained & closed products as well as desktop and portable computers.

  • IT-Test ConsortiumIT-Test is a consortium of RMIT, Vision Australia and a commercial company.Funding from DoCITA to establish a test and consulting resource for Australian industry.Provides consulting services during UCD/UD to ensure that products will meet the required requirementsCompliance testing of existing products to ensure they meet standards, particularly overseas standards eg Section 508Actively looking for work from overseas

  • UCD and Universal Design (UD) 1Over the past few years there have been many discussions about the relationship between usability and accessibility. More recently the debate has swung towards the differences (and similarities) between UCD and UD. In UCD users are central to the process and are involved throughout the development lifecycle. The user group may be quite specific eg designing an interface for a military system or more general such as an interface for an eCommerce website.

  • UCD and Universal Design (UD) 2UD is concerned with the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.Is this really only UCD with a broader user base?

  • Areas of InterestEmerging Technology usageTechnology and the elderlyMultimodal interfaces, URCTechnology for people with learning difficultiesPassport system, KeyringTechnology and crisis in the medical system Mobile devices, low cost, low resolution sensors

    Universal design for Learning eLearning QA Based on criteria covering Technical, Usability, Accessibility and Learning Effectiveness.

  • Contact Details

    Malcolm RaymondBusiness ManagerRMIT IT Test Lab9925 81070418 418 982

    First experience in understanding the environment that the equipment would be used in.Working with the soldiers in field really revealed the requirements for the equipment and the conditions that the equipment would be used under eg stress, need for big keys and key locators etcDid the Enterprise workshop program and quickly discovered the 3 most critical criteria for product success were market , market and market and the extension of this was that the product had to be something that the users wanted!As government funded and so as not to compete against the private sector outsourced work to a number of key consultants in a range of disciplines. Used a cross disciplinary team.

    Link to Kay house as RMIT established the pilot microelectronics centre (CIMA) based in this building and run by Fred PayneWorking with stakeholders and users through focus group sessions conducting user needs and training needs analysisPart of the Keating Creative Nation Program designed to develop a world class multimedia industry in AustraliaQuality was seen to be a major industry needAt the beginning of the dot com eraOne of the first projects was a whole of lifetime UCD approach to production of a series of educational CDROMs (Cochlea)Iterative approachIVR reduced drop outs and pass through to operators by 50% with a saving of 15 FTE.

    Interesting example in last 2 categories.

    Very large international group devloping in-car navigation system using peech recognition for IP from driver (so not to distract). However, above 40 KPH ambient noise made speech recognition unrecognisable so they used a touch IP LCD panel for IP!!!


    ABCANZAustradeTourism VicColonialNABBendigo BankeTradePIRSADPWS

    1 Afterthought

    2 Elevator incorporated into spiral staircase in LouvreThe IT Test Lab was established over 14yrs ago. Highly regarded by a small group of customers for hardware testing services. Covering performance benchmarking, comparative reviews etc. For many years the Lab has provided the testing services for review articles for a number of ZDNet journals.

    More recently the Lab has come under the management of RMIT Training and is undertaking an active sales and marketing program fro its existing services.Is involved with IT-Test and has been involve with the preparation of a number of Section 508 Compliance Test Procedures and expects to do more.

    Also intend to introduce a number of new products based around software testing, usability & UCD.