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3.3. Take-Away Ideas

A customer-centered design process involves first knowing who your customers are and keeping them involved throughout the design process. In knowing your customers, you will learn their skills and knowledge (people), what they want to do on your site (tasks), the equipment and software they use (technology), and the larger social and organizational context in which they work, play, and live (social issues).

The potential customers visiting a Web site, the things they want to accomplish, the technologies available to them, and their social and organizational contexts are all highly variable. This is why you need a good understanding of these variables before starting implementation. The methods we have described in this chapter may seem too time-consuming if you haven't used them before. Start with one at a time. Run a few informal surveys or interviews of your customers early in the design process for a new project. As you become more comfortable with the process and its benefits, add more.


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