The whole lifecycle of the usability design is:
1. Know the user
To understand what users need to achieve, the steps that need to be performed and the interdependencies between these steps, all the various outcomes and reports that need to be produced, the criteria used to determine the quality and acceptability of these results, and finally the communication needs of the users as they exchange information with others while performing the task or preparing to do so.
a. Individual user characteristics
b. The user's current and desired tasks
A typical outcome of a task analysis is a list of all the things users want to accomplish with the system (the goals).
c. Functional analysis
d. The evolution of the user and the job
Users will not stay the same. Using the system changes the users, and as they change they will use the system in new ways.
"coevolution of tasks and artefacts."
2. Competitive analysis
This again means that user testing with existing products can be more realistic than a test of other prototypes.
3. Setting usability goals
a. Financial impact analysis
define a set of sample tasks and ask several usability specialists how long it "ought" to take users to perform them. One can also get an idea of the minimum acceptable level by asking the users, but unfortunately users are notoriously fickle in this respect
4. Parallel design
The goal of parallel design is to explore different design alternatives before one settles on a single approach that can then be developed in further detail and subjected to more detailed usability activities.
A variant of parallel design is called diversified parallel design and is based on asking the different designers to concentrate on different aspects of the design problem.
Parallel design is a very cheap way of exploring the design space.
5. Participatory design
Users are not designers, so it is not reasonable to expect them to come up with design ideas from scratch. However, they are very good at reacting to concrete designs they do not like or that will not.
6. Coordinated design of the total interface
general guidelines applicable to all user interfaces, category-specific guidelines for the kind of system being developed
7. Apply guidelines and heuristic analysis
Scenarios are the ultimate minimalist prototype in that they describe a single interaction session without any flexibility for the user.
9. Empirical testing
10. Iterative design
a. Capture design rationale
11. Collect feedback from field use