INNOVATIVE IT PROJECTS FOCUSED ON USER CENTRED DESIGN

This paper is directed towards analysing the concept of innovation within software development projects by means of user-centred design. Innovation is defined in the context of software development projects. The article covers the field of web application development but also provides references and examples from other related IT areas like mobile application development and hardware development. Software development projects are depicted as an ideal environment for introducing innovative solutions. The user interface concept is defined. Its importance and value in the context of application quality and performance is highlighted. A brief history of user interface evolution is presented and disruptive innovations in the way users interact with software and hardware are emphasized. Opportunities to innovate in software development projects at user interface level are listed. The concept of usability is defined. The concept of user-centred design is defined. A clear distinction is made between user-centred design and usability. A theoretical background in the field of user-centred design is compiled. The circumstances that require implementing user-centred design are emphasized. The reasons for applying user-centred design are depicted. The type of software development projects that accommodate effectively user-centred design are presented. Advantages, costs, and risks are all put into balance and considered in order to provide a proper formalization of the user-centred design concept. Indicators for assessing user-centred design efficiency and efficacy are constructed, tested and refined. The concepts, data and theories enunciated throughout the article are summarised in order to aggregate a solid conclusion. Further research directions in terms of user-centred design, usability and innovative IT projects are outlined.