The paper reports experience and lessons learned from applying the principles of User Centric Design (UCD) to articulate user requirements for designing one of the social services' websites. Based on a collaboration with one of the local authorities in the UK, our aims are to create a website that satisfies as many users as possible, as well as to find out the practicality and potential of UCD as a methodology for IS projects in the public sector context. Our findings suggest that highly regulated areas, such as social services, often involve numerous user groups with very diverse interests. The challenge to select user group(s) as the focal position of the design is clear. The gap between users' requirements and how they will actually use the system can be substantial. Such a gap needs to be understood at the early stage of the design to avoid unnecessary waste in resource. Moreover, the potential difficulties to settle and sort out different and often contradictory requirements from different user groups cannot be underestimated.
Huang, Jimmy; Chou, Andrea; Rongraung, Suravee; and Sharma, Anik, "Customer Centric Design: Who Should Be in the Center of the Design?" (2008). PACIS 2008 Proceedings. Paper 188.