Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu


  • Nigel BevanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_441


User centered design


A product is usable if the intended users can achieve their goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use [8]. Usability is achieved by taking a user-centered approach to design, and thus ensuring that the product incorporates characteristics that support usability.

Historical Background

Usability was adopted as a technical term to replace the phrase “user friendly,” which by the early 1980s had acquired undesirably vague and subjective connotations. It is a goal for product design in the scientific fields of HCI, human factors and ergonomics. In 1985 Gould and Lewis [5] described the central principles of what became known as user-centered design [15]: (i) early focus on users and tasks., (ii) empirical measurement, (iii) iterative design.

Usability has since grown into an established discipline with the Usability Professionals Association founded in 1991, and the landmark book by Nielsen on Usability...

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professional Usability ServicesLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tiziana Catarci
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e GestionaleUniversita di RomaRomaItaly