Why does User-centric design matter?

Why does User-centric design matter?
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As a designer, I gathered with my team to discuss the preliminary mockups of the design for an application for a new customer. When we team members started discussing our concepts, it became apparent that each person had a unique vision for the app’s purpose and functionality. As a result, the conversation during the meeting swiftly shifts from what is correct to who is right. No one is supporting the user. Everyone is protecting their designs. Sounds recognizable? In the circumstances like this, user stories must be put into practice.

As designers, our minds should be gathering the pieces from the user’s mouth and making their visualization into a realistic user-centric design rather than putting our thoughts on what they want and changing their needs according to us. Because it’s their design, we are here to improvise, make the product for them, and remember that the design is not for us.

What is user-centric design?

First, let’s know what UCD is! Although user-centered design is frequently considered a component of user experience (UX) design, it is a different approach. By creating with people, the UCD method goes beyond designing for them. UCD is also known as human-centered design. User-centered design is an iterative process that aims to improve a product’s user experience overall. The UX designers work to satisfy user demands and make the product as easily accessible as possible throughout each project stage. Designers incorporate consumers at every stage of the design process to provide the best possible user experience. This involves considering the user’s goals, needs, and product-related comments.

Designers keep changing and improving the product for maximum value based on user needs and inputs. Ultimately, the product should most satisfy the user’s needs or solve user problems.

Why is user-centric design important?

Understanding the user

Knowing which demographic your user belongs to is the most crucial stage for UX and marketing. Depending on your industry, this might be accomplished through qualitative and quantitative research techniques, including online surveys, 1:1 interviews, and polls. Ideally, you should develop your strategies and tools to gather as much valuable data as possible and contextualize it.

Additionally, assigning marketing, UX, or product would be incorrect because this is a cross-functional team effort, as they would each focus on distinct aspects. For instance, marketing may analyze the “why” behind the adjustments and report how the most recent acquisition and promotion strategies fared. While researchers (or the founders of smaller firms) should actively engage with consumers and try to build a picture of the new reality, UX should focus on changes in user behavior utilizing the product/website.

To adapt to the user’s needs

In the user-centric design process, the designer develops the design based on the initial requirement and understands the user’s need. But this design solution has to be validated by performing usability sessions, that is, testing the solution with the users to find out what’s working for them and what’s not. After a  session, the feedback on evaluation findings should be sent to designers as soon as possible. Based on user comments, the design will be improved. A design, assessment, and redesign process are implied by iterative design.

Early on in the development process, they should continue often. Users may be requested to do their activities step-by-step after viewing a series of screen drawings or paper prototypes early in development. Usability experts may be able to assess designs by “walking through” designs based on user and task goals if user involvement is not available. Users doing everyday actions can more formally test working prototypes. When a prototype is ready, user performance and satisfaction are tested.

Measure user satisfaction

Metrics play a crucial role in having a robust, successful design. To create a mechanism for understanding what needs to be improved and where to apply the limited design, usability, and development resources available to make the most significant impact on the user, measurement is not about having perfect knowledge. Metrics also help to determine any user experience problem hurting the positive user experience as soon as possible.

How to use metrics

  • Determine what modifications to make to address the UX problem
  • Analyze and show the effects of such adjustments.
  • Evaluate usability about how well users execute a set of test tasks.
  • Rate of success (ex. completed web form)
  • The duration of a task (ex., analytics time on page)
  • The subjective happiness of users (ex., feedback) and the error rate (ex., server logs).

User-centric design is an iterative process

The UCD technique generally contains four phases for each iteration. We first attempt to comprehend the context in which consumers may utilize a system. The requirements of the users are then determined and specified. The next step is the design phase, during which the design team creates solutions. After that, the team moves on to the assessment stage. To determine how well a design is performing, you compare the evaluation’s findings to the context and needs of the users. You can observe how near it is to a level corresponding to the users’ particular context and meeting all their pertinent demands. The team repeatedly goes through these four phases until the assessment findings are acceptable.

Final thoughts

When experimenting with user stories on a UI design, keep the following in mind:

Before beginning any visual design, determine a comprehensive collection of user stories. It could be possible to avoid wasting time, energy, and headaches by resisting the urge to start designing immediately.

Check whether each user narrative can be divided into miniature, more focused tales. “Epics” are acceptable for providing a high-level summary of the required elements, but don’t be overly general. Focus on the details right away and address any usability issues.

Never include an interface design element without a related user narrative. Keeping track of each component’s what and why helps with organization and streamlines the transfer to the development team.

Lastly, knowing a process to follow will enable you to modify it or combine some of its phases to better suit your product and its objectives. Before compromising on a strategy to achieve the best results, this must be considered.

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