User centred design focuses on the user as a part of the production system. Keywords are productivity, well-being, and up-front HF design instead of curative improvement actions.
Balanced design choices can only be assessed objectively by adhering to explicitly formulated criteria. Tackling a project with a human oriented procedure will help to harmonize the input of different stakeholders (users, suppliers, etc.). An important part of the approach is the integration of user participation in the project, including observation and interviewing users in their work situation.
Human centred design requires the involvement of the users, in particular end-users. Usually, a working group of end users and other stakeholders is asked to give input and feedback about the HFE activities. Typical communication activities:
- Task analysis (interviews and feedback)
- Design sketches (e.g. building, workplace display)
- Modelling or prototyping
- Graphics design workshops
Even in difficult professional situations, we integrate knowledge and experience of users into the project. One important objective is to attain a basis for change. In this respect, 3D modelling, prototypes and mock-ups (life-size models) have proved to be very useful. It provides ‘hands-on’ experience in the design process which is essential for management approval and user acceptance of the project outcome. In addition, it helps to quickly find practical solutions to many detailed design questions.
ErgoS has a cost effective mock-up tool kit for building life-size models of displays, workplaces, layout of rooms, etc.