User, task, environment

The use of a user, task and environment (UTE) provides a designer with a starting point and contextual frame within which further evidence may be place. This can be used in conjunction with Brainstorming and Mind mapping.

The user may also involve other stakeholders who will influence the requirements list and the balance of insights generated from interview and observation.

The task may be a physical function or cognitive process that results in a decision or choice.

Environment may be the physical environment within which the task and user are placed or a social structure within which the individual uses the abstract societal rules to deliver behaviours, decisions or actions.

Useful links

Poulson D, Ashby M and Richardson SJ (eds.) (1996) USERfit. A practical handbook on user centred design for assistive technology. HUSAT Research Institute for the European Commission. Available from: ( Accessed:[23/09/2015]

Torrens, GE (2011) Universal Design: empathy and affinity. In Karwowski, W, Soares, M, M, Stanton, A, N, Eds, (ed) Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Consumer Products, CRC Press, pp.233-248 Available at: (, Accessed: [23/09/015]

Torrens, G.E., 2012. Assistive Technology product to Universal design: A way forward, Design For All India, 7 (7), pp.182-205 Available at: (, Accessed:[23/09/2015]

Torrens, GE and Black, K (2011) Equipment design in inclusive physical activity and disability sport. In Riobas, AC, Stamatakis, E, Black, K (ed) Design for Sport, Gower, pp.153-178, Available at: (, Accessed: [23/09/2015]