There exists a huge variety of possible methods and techniques covering the whole product development lifecycle. Choosing these methods it is important to make sure that they are addressing the questions of the current development phase, that these methods are appropriate for a product's user group, and that they are used efficiently in terms of time and costs.
Most of the traditional software development processes can be considered as sequential. Contrary to those sequential processes, the usability engineering process includes several iterations. Within the process different methods, such as focus groups, participatory design sessions, usability tests, conceptual designs, prototyping, have to be applied.
Usability Engineering Lifecycle
CURE's usability engineering lifecycle includes the following phases:
- Potentialization: Future potentials of a system are detected. Potentials of innovation and success are uncovered by detailed studies.
- Analysis: User requirements and needs are analyzed and defined as well as their characteristics and all contextual factors of use of the system.
- Design: Concrete drafts and layouts of user interfaces are designed. This includes first conceptual designs as well as the detailed graphical and functional designs.
- Evaluation: All phases have to be evaluated with and without user involvement. Numerous types of expert-based and user-based studies can be applied.
- Prototyping: Low- and high-fidelity prototypes of user interfaces are developed in order to uncover usability problems as early as possible.
- Implementation: User interfaces are implemented.