Adapting User-Centered Design Methods to Design for Diverse Populations

Cynthia Putnam, Emma Rose, Erica J. Johnson, Beth Kolko


User-centered design (UCD) methods such as personas and scenarios are useful tools for communicating extensive user research to design teams. However, the intensive data collection and onsite fieldwork required to create personas and scenarios can present barriers for user researchers and design teams working on technology innovations for diverse populations, including those in developing regions. This article presents a model that demonstrates how user researchers and design teams can use data collected for other purposes to source personas and scenarios and to substantively adopt user-centered design approaches. We demonstrate our methods based on research conducted in a case study in Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia.

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