TRUMP Cost-effective User Centred Design

Selecting and tailoring methods to individual needs

Selecting methods within a budget

  • First decide which methods should be used on a particular development project, given the constraints such as the stage the project has reached, budget, resources, expertise available, access to users, etc.
  • Use the list of recommended methods as a starting point.
  • If resources are very constrained, try starting with the basic methods.

As a rough guide, methods used at the feasibility and requirements stage are likely to be 10 times as cost effective as methods used during design, and these are likely to be 10 times as cost effective as methods used on a final prototype.

Tailoring methods

  • Look at the Purpose and Benefits for each method, and consider whether there is a more appropriate or efficient way to achieve the same objectives, either by adapting the method, or combining two or more methods (for example the Basic methods are combinations of selected Recommended methods).
  • Are there particular benefits or reasons to use any of the Specialised methods?

It will be much easier to see how to tailor a method after you have tried it for the first time. If you are not a specialist in the field, it is best to get some expert advice, as some simplifications can invalidate the results, e.g. usability evaluation with:

  • Unrepresentative users
  • Atypical tasks
  • Unrealistic scenarios

It is also vital to obtain accurate information about how users will use the system: second hand information from marketing, line managers and project managers is notoriously inaccurate.

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