Process-centered design

Innovation to enable change

What is process-centered?

PCD is a business process centric approach to designing user interfaces (UI) for business software. PCD gets you to view UI as business process and thus helps you design UI as you would a business process.

We picked Cognizant partly because it had better UI (user interface) capability than others. Bill Ihrie, Intuit CTO



Pradeep Henry created PCD circa 2000 while he was employed at Cognizant Technology Solutions. The term “Process-Centered Design” was actually introduced a few years later. PCD was first called Productive-interface (Pi) engineering, which became the label for the proprietary PCD method used by Cognizant. At Cognizant, the PCD practice that Henry set up a was an initiative that contributed to Cognizant’s differentiation and fast growth.

PCD is a major second “step” in Henry’s pursuit of the ultimate value from software-spend. It grew out of his previous innovation called UCID, which is a software usability driven approach to technical writing. What grew out of PCD is Henry’s Oil-drilling model, which is a business strategy driven approach to software discovery and design.

Computer Society of India, which has been guiding the Indian IT industry since 1965, published “India Tech Innovates” in their newsletter CSI Communications (March 2007, Issue 12, Volume 30). The article authored by Cognizant’s Global Technology Office talks about Henry and his innovations including PCD.

Dr Kenia Sousa, who has been a business analyst in the European Commission since 2010, said in her October 23, 2008 blog post, “user interaction represents a rich source for business value! . . . There is a long way to go to make this perspective part of the executive agenda, but Pradeep Henry has already highlighted his experience in aligning UI with business process.” Click here to read that post (retrieved February 2, 2017).


  1. Design business process
  2. Divide labor across system and user interface
  3. Map business process onto the user interface
  4. Predict productivity gains


PCD is executed by a business analyst trained in process-centric user interface design.

Is PCD influencing the discipline?

The 40-plus folks that Henry trained in PCD are using the method and skills for their employers and customers worldwide. Besides, there are publications, citations, media interviews etc, some of which are given below.

Publications about PCD

Links retrieved November 6, 2015 or later.

By others

Title: Process-Centered Design
Publication: Wikipedia
Date: February 9, 2015 (last modified)
Web: Click

Title: India Tech Innovates
Author: Global Technology Office of Cognizant Technology Solutions
Issue: March 2007, Issue 12, Volume 30
Publication: CSI Communications
Publisher: Computer Society of India (guiding Indian IT industry since 1965 and today having 50,000-plus members)
Article: Click

Title: A Rule-Based Approach for Model Management in a User Interface – Business Alignment Framework
Authors: Kenia Sousa, Hildeberto Mendonca, and Jean Vanderdonckt
Affiliation: Universite catholique de Louvain, Louvain School of Management, Belgium
Date: 2010
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg

Title: Process-UI alignment
Author: Kenia Sousa
Date: October 23, 2008
Web: Click

Title: User-Centered EHR Design Considered Harmful: Try Process-Centered Instead
Author: Chuck Webster
Date: March 21, 2012
Web: Click

By Henry

Title: Process-UI Alignment: New Value from a New Level of Alignment
Date: October 03, 2007
Publication: Align Journal
Publisher: TCI Publications, USA
Web: Click

Title: Process-Centricity and the Business Analyst’s NEW Role
Date: January 2010
Publication: Business Process Trends, USA
Web: Click

Title: Creating new business opportunities through Innovation
Date: December 2008, Issue 7
Interviewer: Gaurav Saxena
Publication: GRAVITY
Institution: Great Lakes Institute of Management, India (founded by a Kellogg Distinguished Professor)
Download: Click

Title: Process-Centered Design
Publisher: LinkedIn
Web: Click

Related title: Advancing UCD While Facing Challenges from Offshore
Date: March + April 2003
Publication: Interactions
Publisher: ACM, USA
Note: Article topic not labeled PCD, but has some content and example specific to PCD
Web: or Click for info

Related title: Turning The Usability Fraternity into a Thriving Industry
Editor: Claude Ghaoui
Date: 2006
Publication: Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction
Publisher: IGI Global, USA
Note: Article not about PCD, but the call to move to business orientation comes from PCD

Citations in other publications

Pradeep Henry’s PCD article titled “Process-UI Alignment: New Value from a New Level of Alignment” has been cited in publications including the following:

The ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems
Title: Model-Driven Approach for User Interface Business Alignment
Venue: Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Date: July 14 – 17, 2009
Author: Kenia Sousa

Studies in Computational Intelligence (Model-Driven Development of Advanced User Interfaces)
Title: Business Performer-Centered Design of User Interfaces
Date: January 20, 2011
Publisher: Springer
Authors: Kenia Sousa and Jean Vanderdonckt

Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Title: A Rule-Based Approach for Model Management in a User Interface – Business Alignment Framework
Date: 2010
Publisher: SpringerLink
Authors: Kenia Sousa, Hildeberto Mendonca, and Jean Vanderdonckt

Invited speeches

Title: Blue Ocean Strategy & PCD
Date: August 1, 2008
Venue: Chennai, India
Institution: Great Lakes Institute of Management (founded by a Kellogg Distinguished Professor)

Event: CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Title: Outsourcing & Offshoring: Impact on the User Experience
Date: April 2-7, 2005
Venue: Portland, Oregon, USA
Organizer: ACM SIGCHI, USA (world’s largest association for advancing computing as a science and profession)

Event: HCI International 2005 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Title: The Maturing of a Successful Usability Group
Date: July 22-27, 2005
Venue: Las Vega, USA
Organizer: HCI International Conference (their 2009 event attracted over 1900 participants from 73 countries)

Research on business process centricity

About a dozen research projects (unpublished) have been conducted by Henry’s team alone. Sample for these research projects was taken out of a pool of 400+ software projects executed for global enterprises. New insights have been discovered under the broad areas of IT, business processes, and business value of IT. Students at Belgium’s Universite catholique de Louvain, Louvain School of Management have also conduced research around business process centric user interface design.

Media interviews

Business Line, India
Title: Business-centric designs improve efficiency
Date: January 9, 2007
Media: Business Line, India (newspaper with circulation of 130,000 copies, published from 14 cities in India, comes from the publishers of The Hindu, which is the second largest English language newspaper in India with circulation of nearly 1.5 million)
Download: Click to read

Title: Top Guns of IT
Date: September 4, 2005
Media: THE WEEK, India (second largest selling English newsmagazine in India, behind India Today, though a majority of the sales are concentrated in southern India)
Download: Click to read

eWeek, USA
Invite: Interview invitation received from Mike Elgan, Executive Editor on May 11, 2006 and again on June 28, 2006; Henry could not honor the invitation
Title: Great Minds in Development (Video Series)
Others featured include: Steve Krug, author of “Don’t Make Me Think,” Jakob Nielsen, “the world’s leading expert on Web usability” (U.S. News & World Report), Jeremy Bailenson, Director at Stanford University
Media: eWeek, USA (award-winning Ziff Davis publication and the source for high-tech news and analysis for enterprises)

Interview by tech industry analyst firm Forrester

Organization: Forrester Research, Inc USA (analyst firm advicing global business/tech leaders since 1983)
Interviewer: Vidya Lakshmipathy
Interview date: August 31, 2006
Topics: Cognizant’s customer results through PCD, Offshoring of user interface work, User interface discipline in India,
Report: “Usability Moves Offshore: Best Practices For US Firms Working With Usability Teams In India” by Vidya Lakshmipathy with Kerry Bodine and Steven Geller, September 6, 2006