Technical Program
Educators' Symposium
Doctoral Symposium
Student Research

Student Volunteers
Special Events
Housing Information
Registration Information

Monday, 4 November – 13:30-17:00 Afternoon – Convention Ctr - Room 201

12 Card-based User and Use Case Task Modeling

Larry Constantine
Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd., lconstantine@foruse.com
James Noble
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, kjx@mcs.vuw.ac.nz
Lucy Lockwood
Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd., llockwood@foruse.com

Usability is increasingly recognized as a central component of quality in software and Web-based applications, but developers often lack the time and techniques needed for effective user interface design. This tutorial introduces core techniques of agile usage-centered design, a proven approach that complements modern agile methods, such as extreme programming, that have demonstrated their ability to speed design and development but offer too little in the area of software usability and user interface design. The focus in agile usage-centered design is on minimal models that provide maximum payoff in improved designs. The tutorial covers simple but powerful techniques employing ordinary index cards to model the roles users play in relation to a system and the tasks users need to perform within those roles. A variety of techniques are explained and applied, including card storming, role and task inventories, abstract dialogs, role-support analysis, and cooperation clustering of task cases. Task models based on essential use cases will be compared with conventional use cases, scenarios, and user stories, and user roles will be compared with personas and user profiles. The impact of user role and task models on the design of improved user interfaces will be explored.

Attendee background

This tutorial is targeted toward practitioners who want to improve their abilities to incorporate user perspectives in their work through usage-centered design. Participants should have some knowledge and experience with use cases. Experience in user interface programming or design is helpful but not required.


This tutorial will alternate between short lectures and hands-on application. Hands-on practice will be supported by coaching and consultation from the tutorial leaders and will be followed by class review and discussion of the work and the process.


Larry Constantine, Adjunct Professor, Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) and Director of Research and Development, Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd., is a pioneer in software engineering who now focuses on software usability and usage-centered design methods. In a career spanning four decades, he has had over 150 papers published plus 16 books, including the 1999 Jolt Award winner, Software for Use (Addison-Wesley). An award-winning designer (Performance-Centered Design Competition 2001) as well as a respected teacher, he has taught in 17 countries around the world.

Dr. James Noble, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and Consulting Associate, Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd., is a leading expert on design patterns for OO as well as UI design. He has taught successful seminars and tutorials on usage-centered design and other topics at OOPSLA and elsewhere. With colleagues in the Victoria Object Group, he pioneered streamlined methods for responsibility-driven design with essential (abstract) use cases. Noble is the co-author with Charles Weir of Small Memory Software (Addison-Wesley, 2000) and editor of Prototype-Based Programming (Springer Verlag, 1999) and has numerous published papers to his credit.

Lucy Lockwood, President, Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd., is an internationally respected consultant and trainer who draws on nearly 20 years experience in programming and project management. Her practice centers on software usability and technical teamwork, and she has contributed many of the core concepts and techniques in usage-centered design. A top-rated speaker, she has taught around the world and has keynoted major conferences. She is author of more than a dozen published papers and co-author of the award winning book, Software for Use (Addison-Wesley, 1999).