Usability Engineering Lifecycle Model


The Usability Engineering Lifecycle (UEL) model has three phases: requirement analysis, design/testing/development, and installation. Each phase has a different set of activities that must be covered to get the best out of the design process. Let’s take a brief look at each of the phases.

Phase 1: Requirements analysis

Requirement analysis is the study of users and their needs, required tasks, and defining usability guidelines for the system. This phase involves four tasks:

  • User profiling: This involves identifying user characteristics, requirements, and the problems they are facing with current software. For example, if a person has tremors, mouse sensitivity should be lowered.
  • Contextual task analysis: This involves identifying the current user tasks, work environments, and workflow patterns. This analysis helps to understand user behavior towards current applications and how the user will respond to your design. For example, if a system is to be used in a highly interruptive environment where users are likely to get distracted, then the system should be able to provide constant feedback to let the user know what has been done, what they are doing, and what the next task is?
  • Usability goal setting: This involves setting specific, qualitative, and measurable goals for the requirements we concluded on during user profiling. For example, a novice user should not take more than 40 seconds to sign up for the system account.
  • Platform capabilities and constraints: This involves addressing system or interface capabilities and constraints while specifying usability goals. The usability goals should be consistent with the platform possibilities, i.e. a goal that a user should perform a specific task in a specific amount of time will never be met if the platform takes more than the specified time to process.
  • General design guidelines: This involves specifying general design guidelines for the interface design. For example, if the interface has a form, then use guidelines to make that form useable as well as beautiful.

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