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Methods and methodologies

What is a method?

According to the Oxford Living English Dictionary, the primary meaning of method (noun) is a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one. And methodology (noun), a system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity.

This web site is intended to make available in one resource a collection of useful methods following the definition given above for designing and evaluating User eXPerience in IT products.

What will you find here?

The basic documents with which this collection starts are from projects part-sponsored by the European Commission in 1996, projects RESPECT and INUSE. These two projects, among other things, created collections of methods, one for requirements (RESPECT) and one for evaluation (INUSE). You can download the original documents from here:

In 2000 a third part-sponsored project began, UsabilityNET, which merged these two documents to start an online collection of methods for use in development of IT products throughout the lifecycle. My organisation, the Human Factors Research Group at University College Cork, Ireland, was deeply involved as a main partner in all three projects.

UsabilityNET still contains a lot of useful information - see - but it uses the depreciated Flash format, and is difficult to update. The web site was last edited by Nigel Bevan in 2003.

This site will be using the collection of methods gathered in the UsabilityNET project as a starting point for an open collection of methods to which colleagues in the user experience business are invited to contribute.

There is a space for readers to make proposals for methods below, and after the description of each method, a space for comments and contributions.

All information presented in this site is public domain, the outputs of the INUSE, RESPECT, and UsabilityNET projects have always been so, and I firmly intend to continue this tradition. If you cite any part of this web site, please include acknowledgement of source. Rather than copying and pasting to your own site, I encourage you to set up a link, as the contents of this site will be updated at irregular intervals.

Ways to participate

If you want to add comments to this page or any of the methods description pages, please use the form at the end of each page. Of particular value are links to web sites which give more information about the method described, or present case studies. Web sites must not require registration or fees to be accessible since this is not part of the ethos of this project.

If you want to propose a new method then please first of all read the Working: Stub for methods page (it's at the bottom of the Links to Methods list on the left.) Then download the method template. This is a text file with a small amount of structure which is used to automatically generate a methods description page. Once you've filled it in to your satisfaction, send it to me to jzk at uxp dot ie as an enclosure with a different file name.

If accepted, contributions will have full attribution to you and your company if you wish it. All contributions will be evaluated by a group of experienced moderators before they go online.

If you want to join the review panel, please write to me, jzk at uxp dot ie, and include a brief account of your activities and achievements to date in the field of user experience.

Make a comment, or suggest another method

Please enter your comments in the form below and click 'Send'. Note that all comments will be moderated and may not appear immediately (or just click 'Refresh form' without sending.)
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