The usage-centered design approach to UX design (as defined by Constantine & Lockwood) has been always a reference to me. Their articles describe practical well-defined techniques which I think can (and should) be included in development processes, and my humble opinion is that it deserves more attention than it gets.
Usage-centered design itself has been viewed as providing already established and effective methods for putting activity-centered design into practice and for overcoming some of the stated shortcomings of human-centered design (Norman, 2006).
Actually, I used their descriptions of techniques for Personas, User Roles and (Abstract) Use Cases as the basis for their implementation into UCDmanager. One of the main reasons for this choice is that they set the basis for a design methodology which includes different interrelated techniques, instead of the toolbox of heterogeneous independent methods we usually have.
Sadly, it seems that their forUSE website is no longer active (although it still can be accessed through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine). That’s why I’m recovering here some of their articles.
Recovered forUSE articles and resources
User role models are compared in detail with the popular user modeling technique of personas. User roles offer a more compact, more focused means of capturing and exploring those aspects of users most relevant to interaction design. The advantages and limitations of the approaches are considered and a combined strategy is described.
Paper form for documenting user roles in a structured format that includes responsibilities, links to related roles, and commonly significant characteristics.
Essential use cases, a variant employed within usage-centered design, are contrasted with conventional use cases and scenarios. For the most efficient support of user interface design and particularly for large, complex projects, a highly-structured form of use case has evolved. New narrative elements and relationships among use cases are introduced.