Ux is short for user experience, which is the core of several interrelated approaches to solving engineering problems: human-centered design, user-centered design, and design thinking.
Questions to ask about your own process for engineering design
- What stages of the engineering design process have you been taught?
- Has your experience always been true to what you’ve been taught, or do you use different stages in your other courses’?
- Are there any design stages or ideation techniques that you want more experience with?
Questions to ask before beginning a project, according to Khanjan Mehta from his talk at TAMUQ on 5 November 2017:
- Is it affordable?
- Is there a business model?
- Is it socially acceptable?
- Will customers use it?
- Does it address a real need?
- Does it meet every need?
- Is it pretty?
- Can you compete?
- Who will manufacture it?
- Will it hurt the environment?
- Will it reach the people?
- Can YOU scale it?
Why spend time on Ux?
Current best practices call for spending about 10% of a design project’s budget on usability. On average, this will more than double a website’s desired quality metrics (yielding an improvement score of 2.6) and slightly less than double an intranet’s quality metrics. For software and physical products, the improvements are typically smaller — but still substantial — when you emphasize usability in the design process.Nielsen Norman Group, a research and consulting firm
- Daniel Aronson gives an overview of systems thinking, an approach for complex engineering problems.
- Author and management consultant Christina Wodtke shares her revisions of the design thinking model we use in class.
- The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland describes the 7 key principles of universal design, an approach that focuses on being inclusive of all kinds of users.
- Sheryl Burgstahler on the process, principles, and applications of universal design.
- Examples of student projects in a similar course at MIT.
- This website describes MEELS, the five criteria often used for measuring usability.
- This academic paper describes how a team of researchers used several different methods to gather usability information for a software developed in Sri Lanka.
- This academic paper describes how to use the paper prototyping method, which can be valuable for many different types of engineering prototypes.
- Joe Moxley gives some helpful advice on how to write a good survey.
- This webpage by Dennis G. Jerz gives his top 8 tips for designing usability tests.