I've just started a HCI module, and i've chosen to discuss 'The Importance of Used Needs and Establishing User Requirements' for my presentation and short paper.

I strongly believe that a user centred approach should direct the development of the product, rather than technical approach. However, i need arguments as to why a technical approach may be more beneficial than user centred approach (in some cases).

Does anyone have any instances, sources or papers that suggest a technical approach may be more beneficial?

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    Technical constraints are sometimes paramount - it depends on the nature of the application. For example, anything to do with space, medicine, nuclear power, etc, where a wrong move could be catastrophic, tend to deliberately adopt non-user-centric UX. Mar 17 '18 at 12:53

So, you're essentially asking when system-centered design might make more sense vs. doing user-centered design. This was done a lot back in the day before user-centered design became widespread.

One example is something that is probably under your nose right now: the QWERTY keyboard. It might not be the most user-centered design, compared to a keyboard layout like the Dvorak. In QWERTY, typing requires awkward finger motions and is fairly slow unless you've mastered it. But despite it not being optimal from a user-centered standpoint, QWERTY has become "entrenched in the zeitgeist", if you will. Accepting the technical limitations of QWERTY at this point is perhaps better than designing an entirely new keyboard using a user-centered approach, unless the project is OK with trying to counteract something that has been learned and entrenched over decades of use (QWERTY). And that, frankly, may require more effort than it is worth at this point.

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