Donald norman 1988 in his classic work the design of

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Donald Norman (1988), in his classic work The Design of Everyday Things, argued that many designers had lost touch with users, with the result that common devices were often difficult, inconvenient and even dangerous to use. Norman advocated the introduction of UCD, which should make use of the natural properties of people and of the world, exploiting natural properties and constraints. As much as possible, design should operate without instructions or labels. UCD resulted from a number of converging movements in the design field in the late twentieth century. The field of human computer interaction (HCI) is concerned with the design of computer interfaces that are natural and easy to use (Gerlach and Kuo 1991). HCI arose from a realization that interfaces were difficult to use, resulting in user frustration and decreased productivity due to steep learning curves and underutilization. This resulted in a shift in research emphasis from the technical aspects of computing to modelling human behaviour in relation to computer systems (for example, Card et al. 1983; Norman 1986; Olson and Olson 1990). A related field is computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), in which computer environments are designed to support collaborative work practices and researchers explore the role of computers in facilitating social interactions (Wellman 2001). According to CSCW, technological systems must relate to existing orders of social practice and remain adaptable to the emergent needs of user groups (Ackerman 2000). Joint application design (JAD) was developed by Chuck Morris and Tony Crawford of IBM in 1977 as a process for involving users in system design (Asaro 2000). It grew out of existing methods of design and engaged users, designers, and external experts together in design; its focus was essentially pragmatic, on achieving the most 130 New Educatio nal Perspectives for Designers and Manag ers efficient process of user-oriented system design. By contrast, participatory design (PD) originated in Norwegian and British movements to develop more democratic workplace technology. Its socialist underpinnings provoked reflection within the design research community on the political and ethical implications of workplace technology. Despite the differences between these approaches, their core idea was the same: the need to develop an intimate understanding of users as an essential component of the design process. This gave rise to the adoption of ethnographic research methods to develop close connections with users and understand their interaction with designed objects. Because users often had difficulty in articulating their needs in terms that designers could understand, these methods allowed designers to observe their interactions and draw insights from them. Norman (1986) showed that the principles of usability lie in users mental models, their understandings of how things operate based on their experience, learning, or the usage situation. To develop some insight into these mental models, designers needed to understand not only users
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