Title: User-centred design practice and adoption in smaller ICT companies in Eastern Finland: an interview study

Authors: Roman Bednarik; Janne Krohns

Addresses: School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ' Honkalampi Foundation, Salpakatu 2 A, 80100 Joensuu, Finland

Abstract: We map the state of the practice of user-centred design in industrial settings. We evaluated the level of adoption of user-centred approaches in small IT companies at the Eastern Finland border area. We focus on the perception of UCD, on the methods employed and on the adoption level. A set of interviews with 12 IT companies revealed a tension between perception of user needs as an important factor of a product and a lack of need-assessment knowledge and processes. Most of the companies gather at least some form of information about users and use cases, but often more efficient methods to elicit and process these requirements are unknown or not employed. Our results show how the low UCD adoption affects operation of IT business: we discovered critical misunderstandings of the concepts of user and customer, and we report on how efficiency is crucial in terms of time to finish the project, and how finances needed to implement UCD are an important issue.

Keywords: user centred design; UCD adoption; UCD perceptions; ICT SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; software process; user involvement; Finland; information and communications technology; information technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2015.068165

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2015 Vol.18 No.3, pp.285 - 298

Published online: 28 Mar 2015 *

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