UIEtips Article: Designing Web Applications for Use

Jared Spool

December 11th, 2006

UIEtips 12/11/06: Designing Web Applications for Use

The most valuable asset of a successful design team is the information they have about their users’ goals and activities. When teams have the right information, the job of designing a powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface becomes tremendously easier. When they don’t, every little design decision becomes a struggle.

To help designers deliver software and web apps that successfully satisfy their users’ needs, we turned to Larry Constantine, author of
Software for Use, to share some of his insights on the subject. In this week’s UIEtips, Larry has written an excellent article describing activity modeling and usage-centered application design. Larry discusses how designers can satisfy their users’ needs by focusing on the activities users are trying to accomplish.

I’ve known Larry Constantine for more than 15 years. Larry is a recognized leader in design methodology and product usability. With Lucy Lockwood, he developed Usage-Centered Design, a model-driven process with a proven track record for delivering software and web applications that fit the genuine needs of users.

Like me, Larry comes from a computer engineering and project management background. He’s always approached design from the standpoint of what can realistically be done by teams, which makes his usage-centered approach practical and extremely successful.

It’s also no accident that we’ve chosen to include Larry’s tutorial on Usage-Centered Design at our upcoming UIE Web App Summit this January. If you’re thinking your team could benefit from this proven process, I highly recommend you consider coming to the tutorial.

Read today’s UIEtips article.

What type of information do you gather from your users? What are your thoughts on activity modeling and usage-centered design? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

One Response to “UIEtips Article: Designing Web Applications for Use”

  1. Eden Mondanaro Says:

    Fantastic article, concisely summed up the process. It was also funny to see a reference to Robert Hoekman, Jr’s book, “Designing the Obvious” which was literally open, in front of me at the time. Thank you for providing such excellent resources to all of us.

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