Why you should be focusing on user-centric design

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User-Centric Design

Gone are the days when brands used to push half baked products into the market. The world is changing rapidly and brands need to keep up with it so as to stay relevant and at the same time be one step ahead of their competition. And the best way to do it by providing users with products personalized and catered for them keeping their interests in mind.

After all, they say the customer is the king. It has even changed the roles people are hired for. There are more jobs which revolve around User-Centric design, human-centred Innovation etc than before. Even schools and colleges have jumped on the bandwagon and started implementing User-Centric Design to their programmes. 

What is User-Centric Design?

The Interaction Design Foundation has given the below definition for User-Centric Design or UCD. 

“User-centered design (UCD) is an iterative design process in which designers and other stakeholders focus on the users and their needs in each phase of the design process. UCD calls for involving users throughout the design process via a variety of research and design techniques so as to create highly usable and accessible products for them.”— Definition of user-centred design (UCD) by the Interaction Design Foundation.

 

It simply means you place the user at the centre of the design and not the product/solution. It is researching, designing and building solutions from a users’ perspective so that the user doesn’t need to think about what they need to do while using that solution. People sometimes tend to use User-Centric Design interchangeably with Human-Centric Design. But, there is a difference. All humans needn’t be your user/target audience. So you need to make sure that your user’s particular interests and preferences are taken into account. Because user-centred Design ultimately improves the User Experience (UX).

Why is User-Centric Design important?

When you look at it from the user’s perspective, User-Centric Design ensures their satisfaction and is basically the difference between them completing a task or not. When you look at it from the developer’s perspective, it is the difference between the success or failure of a project. When you look at it from the brand’s perspective, User-Centric Design helps in saving time and money and ensures customer satisfaction and determines the success or failure of an endeavor. It is quite evident that brands that invest in User-Centric Design are one step ahead of their competition and see a better ROI than the brands which do not employ User-Centric Design. 

User-Centered Design Principles

Five major UCD principles

  • A clear understanding of users and task requirements.
  • Incorporating user feedback to define requirements and design.
  • Early and active involvement of the user to evaluate the design of the product.
  • Integrating user-centred design with other development activities.
  • Iterative design process.

The Essential Elements of User-Centered Design

  • Visibility: Make sure that your user can see and understand what they can do with the product, what it is about and how they can use it from the very beginning itself.
  • Accessibility: Make sure that your user can find all information easily, quickly and in as few steps as possible. Example – call to action buttons, search option, menu, etc.
  • Legibility: Make sure that the text used is simple and easy to read. 
  • Language: Make sure to use simple language as much as possible. Simple, easy and direct phrases and sentences would work well here. 

What is the process of User-Centric Design?

The process starts with identifying the end-users of the product/service and specifying the context of use. You need to do proper research and group your data, formulate the requirement set and set the goals to be met. Design potential solutions. The entire process should be iterative and should evolve from a basic concept to a complete design. Now, how do you go about finding your target end-users’ requirements? Focus groups, usability testing, interviews, questionnaires, etc can help you in analyzing personas, scenarios and use cases properly.

The value system of user-centred design contains:

· empathy,

· optimism,

· iteration,

· creative confidence,

· belief in making,

· embracing ambiguity,

· learning from failure.

Examples of good User-Centric Design

Duolingo

If you have used Duolingo, you would know that it is a very simple app. You move forward by completing simple tasks or games. In Duolingo, they combined the addictiveness of mobile apps and learning a new language and created a good UX which makes sure that people come back for more. 

Trello

Trello is another example of good User-Centric Design. If you are a sales professional, you may have already used it and are happy with the simple UX design. Trello makes sure that there is no confusion in understanding the app. Everything on the home screen is simple and easy to understand. There arises no confusion regarding moving the tasks around. It is very simple that people who are first-time users would also be able to navigate quite easily. 

User-Centric Design doesn’t mean that your end product/solution is perfect. You learn from what you designed wrong and change it based on the feedback and improve your design. If you are looking for help with designing your product/service you are in the right place. Feel free to contact our Sales executives here to help you get started. 

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