User-Centered Philosophy

Communication and Information Technology (CIT) employs a user-centered approach to all our projects. This approach places the user (target audience) at the center of the process--from the project conception until launch, various evaluation techniques are utilized to get users' perspectives and feedback.

A user-centered approach means focusing on the needs of the target audience while simultaneously meeting the objectives of the client. Research indicates that projects incorporating user-centered methods are more likely to be successful because the users are more satisfied with their experience. User satisfaction translates to increased sales for business and perceived credibility and value for faculty projects and nonprofit organizations.

Stages of a CIT Project

We approach each project as unique. Depending on the scope of the project and its unique demands, some or all of the following stages may be implemented.

  • Analyze client objectives: At this stage, we determine who the target audience is. We also work with you to articulate your product or organizational strategies, defining your specific goals and objectives.
  • Analyze audience requirements: We work with the target audience to determine their needs and requirements. This effort to understand the audience may be achieved through focus groups, interviews, and/or surveys.
  • Conceptual design and strategizing: We work with your team to sketch out a strategy based on the information gathered from the above two stages. Complex projects may require a multilevel communication and marketing plan (which can include Web sites, electronic or digital media, print materials, etc.). We help you determine which media types are best suited to the target audience and your objectives and budget.

    For large-scale design and development projects such as large-scale portal Web sites or other information systems, prototypes are developed and feedback from the target audience is gathered (through an iterative process that may include focus groups, surveys, structured walk-throughs, and front-end concept evaluation). Click here to learn more about these evaluation techniques.
  • Development: Incorporating all the data gathered from the above steps, product development occurs at this stage.
  • Evaluation: Data is gathered from the target audience through user-testing (for Web applications), interviews, or surveys to measure the success of the communication strategy or product.
  • Continual feedback and improvement: We continue to seek feedback from users for improvement.

Contact us for more information about our approach.