Define - User Centered Design

Typically very large amounts of data are gathered from the discover phase. The data needs to be analyzed and translated into a form that can guide and structure the design process. This analysis, which happens during the define phase, typically results in one or more of the following deliverables:
Personas
Personas are an excellent tool in a designer's toolbox to help give direction to the entire team responsible for the product including: designers, engineering, marketing and management staff, technical writers, etc. They personify a target user group in such a way that makes them feel like a real person, and they help guide design discussions amongst the team. Attributes that may be part of the definition of a persona include technical expertise, goals and needs, work style, work environment, educational attainment, work experience, personal interests, etc.
Affinity Diagrams
Issues that have emerged from the interview sessions are identified and transferred to post-its. The post-its are then grouped together into categories that emerge organically from the data itself: no outside structure is artificially imposed. The end result is an affinity diagram of all of the findings. Once this process is complete, clear patterns emerge that can be used in the design of the navigation, menu and command structuring, page layout, chunking of functionality, etc.
Task Flows
The user's task flow is captured from the interview sessions through the observation of their work process. This data is used to help guide the interaction design of the product. The task flow for the different types of users is identified and differences are noted. The user interface must accommodate these differences so that each type of user can successfully reach his/her goals. If wizards are being developed, task flows directly impact the structure and steps in the wizard.

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