question about estimating relative importance of ucd

27 Jun 2005 - 2:53pm
9 years ago
1 reply
503 reads
Marijke Rijsberman
2004

I'm looking for resources that address the relative importance of UCD to different projects. All the materials that I can find appear to assume that UCD is equally important in all cases, whereas I'm pretty sure that it's less important for a project that will have 3 end users who are domain experts and who would spend 95% of their day using the system than for a project that would have 4 million end users who don't really understand the domain and would use the system once a year.

It would be great to find some discussion of this general notion and some approaches for estimating beforehand how important the user experience will be to the success of the project.

Any pointers will be appreciated.

Marijke

Marijke Rijsberman
Interfacility
650-868-3432

Comments

30 Jun 2005 - 11:47pm
Billie Mandel
2005

Hi Marijke -
I don't fully agree that "it's less important for a project that will have
3 end users who are domain experts and who would spend 95% of their day
using the system than for a project that would have 4 million end users who
don't really understand the domain and would use the system once a year." I
think it depends on what kind of system you're designing and what business
processes it's supposed to be modeling. Those domain experts can be
expensive, and poorly designed software that doesn't meet their needs can
waste many hours of their time - and lots of a company's money - on an
ongoing basis.
For example, I used to be the sole system administrator for a corporate
intranet for which no UCD was done for the admin functionality. Every month,
I was supposed to send a report of area usage and membership to the leaders
of each workgroup. Because the business process had not been accurately
modeled when this system was designed, this task took me several days, using
SQL, Excel and the site admin tools, to cobble the reports together into a
comprehensible format. Quick calculation: let's just say, for argument's
sake, that I was billing at $40/hour. One month's work (2 days average) on
this task, then, would have cost this organization $640. Over the 3 years I
did this task, it cost them over $23K - and that's just one single task
amongst many that I needed to do with the system. Designing it properly in
the first place would have cost far less.
Hope this helps,

- Billie
On 6/27/05, Marijke Rijsberman <marijke at interfacility.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I'm looking for resources that address the relative importance of UCD to
> different projects. All the materials that I can find appear to assume that
> UCD is equally important in all cases, whereas I'm pretty sure that it's
> less important for a project that will have 3 end users who are domain
> experts and who would spend 95% of their day using the system than for a
> project that would have 4 million end users who don't really understand the
> domain and would use the system once a year.
>
> It would be great to find some discussion of this general notion and some
> approaches for estimating beforehand how important the user experience will
> be to the success of the project.
>
> Any pointers will be appreciated.
>
> Marijke
>
> Marijke Rijsberman
> Interfacility
> 650-868-3432
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