Critical Look at the User-Centered Design Competencies

Heli Kautonen, Mika P. Nieminen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


Public sector services are going through an extensive digital reformation, which intends to improve the quality of these services. A user-centered design (UCD) approach and UCD skills are required if citizens are involved in the public e-services' development. In this paper we present a study in which we utilized the UCD Competency Model. The data for the study was collected in interviews with key informants from three exemplary public digital service projects. We used Critical Discourse Analysis methodology to reveal interviewees' explicit opinions and underlying assumptions about UCD competencies among stakeholder groups. Our results indicate that public servants have favorable ethos and willingness to invest on UCD. Still, there is a need to reconsider the citizens' role as genuine participants. The study also served as validation of the UCD Competency model, uncovering some flaws but also proving it adaptable in the field as a thought-provoking trigger of change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4763-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventNordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 23 Sept 201627 Sept 2016
Conference number: 9

Publication series

NameNordiCHI '16


ConferenceNordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleNordiCHI
Internet address


  • Critical Discourse Analysis, UCD Competency Model, User-centered design, competencies, e-services, field-testing, public services


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