The Meaning of Design in Usability Engineering
A design is basically a blueprint or design for the construction or the implementation of a process or object, or the product of this design, in the most general form of a blueprint. The word ‘design’ itself can mean’specification’, ‘concrete plan’, ‘blue print’ and others. Designing connotes artistic ability. So to say, to build a house you need to sketch out the structure, a map of the location of the building, the instruments required for its construction, etc. Similarly to build a car you need to draw up the plans or map, so for the same purpose, architects make plans and blue prints.
The deep meaning of designing is involved in the planning process. The deep meaning of designing is also involved in the execution part of the process. For example, in the manufacturing industry, if we want to make a car, the designers will go deep down into the technical issues and will figure out how the car should move, how it should look like, what features should it have, etc. It is very similar with designing a human being, the designers will take into account the human characteristics of every person and will try to make the person as perfect as possible.
In usability engineering, the deep meaning of designing is also involved in the usability of the software or hardware. This meaning is also of various shades, and it depends upon the designer as well as the user, depending upon which kind of relationship he wants to have with his user. If the user is a regular user of the system, the designer can exploit his user’s knowledge, experience, preferences and skills in such a way that he can create a user experience which will be most comfortable and efficient. If the user is not a regular user of the system, then the designer will have to find out a technical user who has deep understanding of the system, and will be able to tell the designer what kind of user experience he requires.