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The Usage Model: Describing Product Usage during Design and Development
May/June 2006 (vol. 23 no. 3)
pp. 34-41
Erik Simmons, Intel

User-centered design influences product differentiation, especially in competitive markets. For industrial and interaction designers to be effective, they require a rich description of product usage and the resulting requirements. Historically, people involved in system design and development have described product usage in various ways, some more successful than others. Among the more common formats for capturing usage are use cases, scenarios, and concept-of-operations documents. Several years ago, Intel designers began to use the term usage model to describe product use in a stated context. While the concept was appealing and intuitive, agreeing on the usage model's structure and content proved far more challenging. A recently established usage model structure has three separate tiers: supporting data, overview, and usage details. Teams can use the description throughout product planning, design, development, and validation.

This article is part of a special issue on requirements engineering.

Index Terms:
usage model, user-centered design, use case, scenarios
Citation:
Erik Simmons, "The Usage Model: Describing Product Usage during Design and Development," IEEE Software, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 34-41, May-June 2006, doi:10.1109/MS.2006.87
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