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The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist by Jr. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Frederick P. Brooks

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9. User Models—Better Wrong than Vague

An architecture teamAnderson Ross/Getty Images Inc.—Stockbyte

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. . . [T]ruth will sooner come out of error than from confusion.

SIR FRANCIS BACON [1620],THE NEW ORGANON

Explicit User and Use Models

Experienced designers often begin by writing down exactly what they know about the user, the user’s purposes of use, and the modes of use. Wise designers also write down explicitly what they don’t know but assume about the user and uses.

Where there are multiple different applications or multiple different sets of users, they describe each, then define explicitly the weightings among them so as to define the use ...

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