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Design Quotes. "The two most important tools an architect has are the eraser in the drawing room and the sledge hammer on the construction site." —Frank Lloyd Wright

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Design quotes
Design Quotes

  • "The two most important tools an architect has are the eraser in the drawing room and the sledge hammer on the construction site."

    —Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Hemingway rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms 39 times. When asked about how he achieved his great works, he said, "I write 99 pages of crap for every one page of masterpiece." He has also been quoted as saying "the first draft of anything is shit."

  • "The physicist's greatest tool is his wastebasket."

    —Albert Einstein

  • "Rewrite and revise. Do not be afraid to seize what you have and cut it to ribbons … Good writing means good revising."

    —Strunk and White, Elements of Style

User centered design

User Centered Design

January 15, 2004


  • Good design is good because of its

    • fitness to a particular user

    • fitness to a particular task

  • In general, you are not your user!

  • Our class will stress user centered design.


  • Why is it important?


  • Why is it important?

    • Design exists whether you think about it or not.

    • When you don’t think about design, bad design will be the result.

The design process
The Design Process

  • “When I was a computer science/philosophy student at CMU, I took a design project course to learn about all of this interface design stuff I'd heard about. The first day of class I arrived at the studio room, and found a man at a drawing table, sketching out different variations of the Walkman® he was designing. I got close enough to see the large sketchpad and saw 30 or 40 different variations that he had considered and put down on paper. I introduced myself, pleaded ignorance about design, and asked him why he needed to make so many sketches. He thought for a second, and then said, "I don't know what a good idea looks like until I've seen the bad ones.“

    By Scott Berkun


  • To choose the best solution, you must have more than one solution to choose from.

The historic waterfall model
The Historic Waterfall Model

  • System feasibility

  • Analysis

    • Specifying functionality

  • Design

  • Implementation

    • Coding and unit testing

    • Integration and testing

  • Operation and maintenance

User centered design cycle
User Centered Design Cycle

  • Composed of a series of steps like most design methodologies.

  • Developed to

    • give the design team maximum exposure to the users

    • feature specific measurement of usability.

  • Development is essentially iterative and self-correcting, and this model supports those aspects of design.

Design cycle
Design Cycle



User & Task






Set Usability Goals




User centered design cycle1
User Centered Design Cycle

  • Needs analysis

  • User and task analysis

  • Functional analysis

  • Technical requirements

  • Set usability goals

  • Design

  • Prototype

  • Evaluate

Design cycle needs analysis
Design Cycle Needs Analysis

  • Thumbnail sketch

    • Why is a new system/product needed?

  • Describe in one sentence or phrase

    • Basic user (audience) description

    • Benefit

    • Basic systems characteristics/capabilities

Design cycle user and task analysis
Design Cycle User and Task Analysis

  • Identifies

    • Characteristics of the potential user population(s), eg. demographics, domain knowledge.

    • Goals that the user wants to accomplish.

    • Tasks that the users perform.

  • May identify

    • Mental models.

    • Familiar metaphors.

Design cycle functional analysis
Design Cycle Functional Analysis

  • Who does what?

  • Which system functions will accommodate which tasks ?

  • What part of the task is the human going to do?

  • What part of the task is the computer/device going to do?

  • Will there be manual tasks? [Perhaps not everything should be automated]

Design cycle technical requirements analysis
Design Cycle Technical Requirements Analysis

  • Formal technical specs

    • Flowchart

    • Schematic

Design cycle set usability goals
Design Cycle Set Usability Goals

  • Metrics

  • Determine the quantifiable measures of how good is "good enough" e.g. task completion time, error rates, user preferences

  • Set these goals up front

  • Keep refining the system until you meet these goals

Design cycle design
Design Cycle Design

  • Where the planning pays off…

  • Appearance

  • Functionality

    • Perceived affordance

Design cycle prototype the interaction
Design Cycle Prototype the Interaction

  • Try it out

  • Build the prototype

Design cycle evaluate
Design Cycle Evaluate

  • Get feedback on the prototype

  • User-based, testing

  • Expert-based

  • Quantitative and qualitative measures


  • For next class, look around your home and find an object that exemplifies good design and an object that exemplifies poor design.

  • Type up a one half page or report on each object. Critique the design from the perspective of the user. If appropriate use the terms introduced in class. If the design is poor, suggest improvements.

  • You may save it as a Word, RTF or ASCII text file. Bring the file to our next class.

In class assignment
In Class Assignment

  • Look at

  • Select one bad design you would like to present to the class or come up with your own example.

  • Write up your bad design (30 minutes) in a text document. Include:

    • Your name

    • Your experience with the Internet

    • Your experience with Robotics

    • Your major (if you have one)

    • The bad design.

    • The URL of the bad design.

    • Why do you think this is poorly designed? Can you describe the problem using any of the terms discussed in class (perceived affordance, mental model, metaphor)

    • Can you suggest or improve on the suggested remedy for the poor design?