The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life - with David Attenborough: Hunters and HuntedFriday, 27th May 2016 11:30 - EdenEveryone's hungry. Everyone's lunch. Read more: Life - with David Attenborough: Hunters and Hunted
Life - with David Attenborough: Hunters and HuntedFriday, 27th May 2016 17:30 - Eden
Old School With The Hairy Bikers: EPISODE 3Friday, 27th May 2016 19:00 - BBC Two (Scotland only)
Thinking Allowed 2016: 'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageantsMonday, 30th May 2016 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
Old School With The Hairy Bikers: EPISODE 3Available until Sunday, 26th June 2016 20:00With only four weeks left at the Oxford Academy, we look to see how the old and young have learned from each other. Read more: Old School With The Hairy Bikers: EPISODE 3
Thinking Allowed 2016: 'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageantsAvailable for over a year
All in the Mind - Summer 2016: Exams and the mental health of children, a community approach to suicide preventionAvailable for over a year
Thinking Allowed 2016: Glasgow gangs - Russian gangsAvailable for over a year
Life - with David AttenboroughDavid Attenborough explores the vibrant mix of life found on our plant - where it comes from, and... Read more: Life - with David Attenborough
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Una lengua en movimientoThis free course will develop your knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of... Try: Una lengua en movimiento now
Essay and report writing skillsWriting reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and... Try: Essay and report writing skills now
Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This free course, People-centred designing, focuses firmly on usability and the increasingly important phenomenon of people-centred design. It aims to inform consumers of design (i.e., all of us) about this crucial characteristic of design. In addition to stimulating interest in areas of concern for producers of design, the course might also provide an introduction to engineering, manufacturing and business studies.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the principles of user-centred designing
- criticise some everyday products from a user's point of view
- suggest and apply some appropriate methods for researching how users interact with products
- apply comparison and evaluation skills, including constructive criticism of everyday products
- apply observational skills in the context of both personal and others' use of products.
- Current section: 1 Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 People-centred designing
- 2 New products – old failings
- 3 Designing for users
- 4 Who are the users?
- 5 Why not design for the ‘average’ user
- 6 Inclusive design
- 7 Ergonomics and human factors
- 8 Interaction design
- 9 User research techniques
- 10 User research techniques: observing users
- 11 Designing for pleasure
- 12 The voice of the customer
- 13 Products for markets
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. One of the primary considerations in all fields of design is ‘usability’ and, increasingly, the phenomenon of ‘user-centred design’. This can focus on physical attributes of products but increasingly it depends on an understanding of our cognitive abilities required to operate even simple products. All people studying this course will have some experience of designs that are not usable (perhaps mobile phones or car controls). This course provides you with an introduction to the principles and procedures of design usability through the critical evaluation of selected products. Taking everyday examples, it develops students’ confidence and skills in critically evaluating products around them – particularly consumer products. This course aims to inform ‘consumers’ of design (i.e. all of us) about one important characteristic of design.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Design courses or view the range of currently available OU Design courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 17th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (1.9 MB)
- PDF (3 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (21 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (1.7 MB)
- Kindle (694 KB)
- RSS (223 KB)
- HTML (14.5 MB)
- SCORM (14.5 MB)
- OUXML Package (25 KB)
- OUXML File (76 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.