I’ll be speaking at Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa on April 25, 2012.
Imagine a world where critical user interfaces like those for emergency room tools, aircraft cockpits and nuclear reactor controls have been designed based on best guesses. These interfaces have never been tested with real doctors, pilots and nuclear control system operators. They are being made from a single and detached perspective that does not focus on how people actually interact with technology.
In this day and age, that world seems hard to imagine, but the truth is that this top-down approach to designing products and services has been leading the way for decades. Designs of all kinds have been built without a deep understanding of the end user: their wants, limitations, needs and experiences. And at what cost? Fortunately, the gap between producer and user is shrinking as businesses embrace a better system of evidence-based design. The leading method for doing this known as user-centred design.
Over good food and drinks, guest speaker Hilary Little will help us geeks better understand user-centred design and will take from her own experiences of using this method to maximize business value. She will explain the benefits of treating early designs as hypotheses that need to be tested for usability with end users. She will discuss design as it is linked to business goals, and will provide an example of how this method saves companies big bucks.
The hashtag for these events is: #ggdottawa