I have been researching and developing methods and tools for almost 50 years. This typically involves generalizing something you have learned to do well yourself into something others can do successfully. This is not as easy as it might sound. My experience has been that the vast majority of methods and tools are only used well by their originators.

Several methods and tools that I pursued were intended to help users pursue human-centered design, a process of considering and balancing the concerns, values, and perceptions of all the stakeholders in a design (Rouse, 1991, 2007). By stakeholders, I mean users, customers, developers, maintainers, and competitors. The premise of human-centered design is that all stakeholders need to perceive methods and tools to be valid, acceptable, and viable.

Valid methods and tools help solve the problems for which they are intended. Acceptable methods and tools solve problems in ways that stakeholders prefer. Viable methods and tools provide benefits that are worth the costs of use. Costs here include the efforts needed to learn and use methods and tools, not just the purchase price.

The methodology presented in this chapter is intended to increase validity, acceptability, and viability beyond that usually experienced with the ways in which problems of the scope addressed in this book are usually pursued. This begs the question of what shortcomings plague existing approaches.

First and foremost are ...

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