Thursday, March 02, 2006

Activity-Centred Design vs. Human-Centred Design - Theory vs. Practice? (Part 2)

Thoughts on Activity Centered Design and Human Centered Design..

"Norman also says that the concentration on “tasks” may be harmful and that one should rather focus on “activities”. For Norman, activities are higher in the hierarchy, comprising several tasks (which are themselves a set of actions that consist of operations). Activities should be the unit of exploration because focusing on tasks can lead to a fragmented design of individual screens that do not “support the sequential requirements of the underlying tasks and activities”. I agree that you cannot solve every user interface design problem by providing a step-by-step wizard. But then: anyone who thinks that this would be a reasonable approach is in for some trouble. There are tasks, activities or whatever that can be “brought on screen” as a sequence of distinct steps, then there are distinct steps that vary in their order and then there are the things Norman is talking about – probably the majority of activities – that are more complex and that cannot easily be broken down into individual building blocks without destroying coherence. But HCD does not negate that. Quite a portion of work goes into finding out exactly how that “overall workflow” looks like and conceiving of ways to support it without artificially breaking it up. Apart from that, if I tried to break up any workflow I encountered during my work into segments of individual screens I could cancel this blog because I would do nothing else besides designing screens matched to individual tasks of workflows. The point is: I don’t think that the problem that Norman describes is even an option in serious usability engineering / user interface design; at least not if you want to do good work."   continued ...   (Via Another Useful Blog)


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home