Sunday, March 26, 2006

Conclusion (Evaluation)

This is the final post for this project. This post has contributions from Dan and Mark.

Following the User Centered Design (UCD) principles as closely as possible we have found them to be an effective way of creating new products of any sort in a manner that allows changes to be made easily and without the hindrances of typical engineering methods such as the waterfall method.

During the project we sought stake-holders and:

* Held a meeting with one of them (as this was the maximum number we could reach) and discussed the feasibility of the project

* Mapped out (and continually updated) the requirements of the device based on stake-holder input

* Designed the prototype

After designing the prototype we returned to our stake-holder with a presentation of our prototype and went from this to conduct usability testing out in the field where the device would be used. This testing shed the light on our design's good points, bad points and points that needed to be changed. This has been shown in previous posts.

After making the necessary changes identified in our design we attempted contact with a more general audience. We found it very difficult gaining their participation in this with only one group replying. We felt it best to get a general overview of our idea from the groups and the feedback on our ideas was very positive with the only issue raised being should this device come to the market it would need to be at an affordable price.

In conclusion, we have experienced both the pitfalls and the successes of working as a team following the UCD method to design a system to help a specific audience complete a specific task. The project did not always proceed as smoothly as hoped, due to delays in trying to contact and waiting for responses from our stake-holders. We found it very effective to use the UCD method to find out exactly what our target users require of the system, and some lateral thinking within the group was quickly able to resolve all the issues that arose from the evaluations performed. The final product met with approval from genuine 'real-world' potential users and, given the funding, we believe it could realistically be still further developed into a real system.


At 28 March, 2006 11:05, Blogger ToxicFire said...

Im adding this comment as I was away from my computer for a few days during which the compilation of the conclusion took place without my knowledge.

Though the UCD system works well in principle it does have one fatal flaw for project such as these with the fact that the key influence on the design is feedback and discussion of the product with the user at all stages of development, this was, as stated rather implausable for our project and as such has most left us with a product which when applied to a larger portion of the target audience will require some refinement, most probably because of issues of age, and level of impairment. Both of which issues that UCD doesn't make us aware of with a limited testing base, Which other systems based on a requirement detached from the user will have a tendacy todo. Another point I'd like to raise is that during the project we did not develop a clear specification of requirements document that would have helped guide us to a target and make sure no issues were overlooked, though this was mostly due to the limited research user base at the start of the project, making us unable to identify actual requirements compared with perceived requirements.

At 28 March, 2006 11:35, Blogger Daniel Trimm said...

Previous posts have established requirements for the device. We reached all the requirements we specified as we worked on this project and this becomes obvious when the feedback we receive points to a well thought out device. Work surrounding our first interview with Mike established project requirements.

Further on this matter, evaluation had a week long time frame, it was only the writeup that took place in the last few days due to the deadline of the project being set for then.


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