"Inside Lisboa": Designing a User-centered Tool to Reach the Heart of a City

By João Casaca, Rita Assoreira Almendra and Marco Neves.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Nowadays it is essential to conceive design solutions based on real needs and expectations of everyday-users. In order to do that, we need to understand people and their experiences, and to involve them in the design process whenever possible. In this paper we will show you an empirical study in the field of graphic design in which we intended to know and understand the potential users of an interactive printed object capable of motivating and improving the contact between its user and a new city, and therefore a new culture. We adopted a user-centred design methodology based on an iterative cycle that begun with a round of preliminary interviews that led to a probes exercise, and later to a usability study of a primary prototype, and its redesign. The result of this process was the "Inside Lisboa" kit, a useful, functional, and pleasant object that meets the needs and expectations of its users, and helps to make the visit to Lisbon into a memorable experience. Through this study we proved the true value and benefits that an approach based on the principles and methods of user-centred design may have in a graphic design project.

Keywords: User-centered Design, Graphic Design, Emphatic Design, User Experience, Interaction

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.27-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 6.417MB).

João Casaca

Independent Designer, Lisbon, Portugal

João Casaca is a designer who recently finished his master’s degree in communication design, with distinction, granted by the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Prof. Rita Assoreira Almendra

Professor, Research Centre in Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

She is a Designer and Professor in the Department of Design, Faculty of Architecture at the University of Lisbon.

Prof Marco Neves

Invited Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Marco Neves is a Designer and an Invited Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where he teaches at graduate and undergraduate degrees. His main teaching subjects include graphic and interaction design.