Thursday, June 22, 2006

China embraces User-Centred Designers

The state of UI in China ...

"A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to be part of a user-centred design (UCD) workshop tour of China as part of the SESUN project. The aim of the project is for China and the EU to collaborate in the design of usable IT. For China, an objective of the workshops was to contribute to the development of usability practices in the Chinese IT industry. For Europe, an objective was to provide a window through which to showcase European expertise.

We gave workshops in Beijing, Dalian and Shanghai and on each occasion, we asked participants their background discipline and application area. Most participants were from the software industry or had an industrial design background. In fact, there are very few UCD courses offered by Chinese universities. As a result of this lack of formal training, many of the questions asked in the workshops reflected on the different roles in UCD, how the roles worked together, the skills required, and how to recruit and gauge UCD expertise.

... For example, common issues that were raised in workshops included:
- knowing how to shift users to a radically new interface when they are familiar with the old one
- gaining time to do user research and iterative development
- how to use different types of prototyping at different stages in the process
- how to test for the affective
- how to understand usefulness when a device does not yet exist
- the relationship between data mining and usability."   continued ...   (Via Usability News)

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