Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Best practice for customer and user-oriented product creation in electronic publishing; VNET

VNET is a set of state-of-the-art resources, which introduces and supports RTD teams. The present focus is on user-centered product creation and user validation planning in electronic publishing.

Effective user and customer orientation throughout the product creation process is one of the decisive factors, which determine the success of new information products and services. Experience has shown that in many development projects in the electronic publishing domain the team members find the entry into user-oriented product creation difficult and sometimes disruptive, and need more effective support. To strengthen user orientation in R&D projects the IST Programme (and previously the Telematics Applications Programme) has funded support projects, which support best practice in user validation.

VNET best practice combines results from studies and projects, including the successful ELPUB 105 Usability Study and the UPI project-User Validation in Information Engineering, as well as results from the projects GEM-Generic Evaluation Methodology for integrated Driver Support Applications, BASELINE -Baseline data for user validation in Information Engineering, BEST-GIS Guidelines for best practice in user interface for GIS, and non-EU funded projects, such as Criteria for the selection and development of learning technology (funded by BIBB).

VNET resources are easily accessible at the VNET web site and provided free of charge.

VNET makes resources for best practice for user validation accessible and valuable for a wide audience, including authors and editors, media designers, marketing experts, software developers, project and product managers, many of whom are usually not familiar with usability engineering practice.

The VNET web site contains:
- Overview of user validation best practice.
- The Startup guide introduces the topics, which we propose to consider before starting with user validation planning. As a result readers will be able to review their goals, to assess their maturity (ability to carry out user validation according to the competence level of the organisation), and to determine in which area it is advisable to develop competences. The aim of this section is to lower the threshold for individuals and small organisations to get started with user validation.
- The Best Practice Handbook for user- and customer-oriented development in electronic publishing contains comprehensive information on methods for user validation throughout the product life cycle, including development, marketing and product strategy planning. This information is presented so that different stakeholders can selectively access the information they need.
- The Resource Centre provides - via different selection routes and criteria - access to commented descriptions of methods and tools, design guidelines, and to templates, forms and checklists for user validation planning.
- The Resource Finder helps with the selection of appropriate methods for a specific project.

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