Hamilton Buchanan’s general approach to usability is based on the application of User Centred Design (UCD) techniques. Our approach to UCD is based on ISO 13407, the “User Centred Design Processes for Interactive Systems”. This process represents internationally accepted standards and best practice and is used by leading UCD Consultants globally.
Our UCD process will always follow the ISO 13407 model, but the techniques used (i.e. the type and extent of research and testing) are flexible, and selection depends on the nature and complexity of the website and the priorities set out by the client. The essence of this process is to include user feedback and research from the very first inception of the new site, right up until its launch.
By adopting this approach, our clients make sure that the site they launch is actually usable for the target audience, negating the need to make expensive changes once launch fails to provide the anticipated targets.
To many organisations, applying a UCD approach represents a change of mind-set from the traditional and historically followed graphic design led solution, where screen design mock-ups represent the first stages of development, with little consideration of user requirements. Many organisations are recognising the importance of understanding their audience’s requirements and the significant improvements in site performance (conversion, customer retention, and support channel cost reduction) that can be achieved by delivering a properly thought out and well-structured offering.
UCD is a proven approach that significantly reduces the risk in development and ensures that the final offering supports the needs of users and the business. Whilst the costs for the entire development process shouldn’t differ significantly, the proportion of expenditure will increase in the area of UCD and reduce in the area of graphic design.
UCD is a highly specialised field. As such, Hamilton Buchanan partners with highly-experienced partners who will deliver as part of our project team.
Please bear in mind that UCD can often be quite extensive and as such as our quote is based on detailed client requirements.