only human

human factors and psychology stuff for anyone interested in making things easier, safer and more enjoyable to use

Friday, September 23, 2005 

Subverting from within - a great guide to influencing UCD change

Anyone who has worked in a company as a sole usability person or has been surrounded by people who just don't get the whole user-centred design thing will know just how frustrating it can be. If you are anything like me, and you find it hard not to get upset when people either totally disregard the needs of users, or are totally unware who their users even are, then you know what its like.

A fantastic article from 'Creating Passionate Users' sets out the tools and techniques you need to 'subvert from within' to start changing the culture and mindset within the company. For example, the article suggests that you should question everything in terms of its benefits to users. It also suggests that you adopt a slightly confused, mildly annoyed look when people don't think about things from a user's perspective. A friend of mine I worked with at the BBC perfected this look. It was a head to one side frown and half smirk which seemed to stop people dead mid-conversation when they noticed it.

For anyone wishing to make a difference and get people thinking about users, this is an excellent place to start. Good luck, you'll probably need it!

Full article


  • At 6:15 pm, Blogger Tom said…

    Yes... if that didn't work then I found punching them in the kidneys soon changed their behaviour.


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