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What is user-centered design?

What is user-centered design?

Designing and developing good solutions to simple problems is often a laborious process. User-centered design is a method to streamline this process and arrive at a user-friendly result in partial steps. This article concisely explains this method and describes how to put the user at the center of your communication design. User-centered design is an ISO standard defined as a method or approach to achieving a usable system. UCD contributes to increasing the usability of your product and is useful for different disciplines of design. How does this process work and how can user-centered design contribute to usable design?

The User Centered Process

Experience design is an iterative process. User-centered design does not stop when an application or Web site is delivered. Monitor the website continuously and embed it into the process. The market changes, user needs change, so does the effectiveness of your application.

  • Stand behind the principles of user- centered design
  • Set your goals
  • Test, monitor and evaluate (as shown above)
  • Understand the user (and his behavior)
  • Surpass the competition (analyze competing websites, which scenarios can be distinguished)
  • Monitor the overall user experience
  • Bring the user to life
  • Balance the playing field between user, technology and business objectives

Why user- centered design?

  • Stay in touch with your consumer
  • Keeps you on your toes (site analysis)
  • Increases profitability (improved funnels)
  • Positive WOMMA (appeals to the target group)
  • Reduces time to market
  • Decreasing total cost per order
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Analyze the user

  • Use an impartial project manager who can think freely from the user’s point of view.
  • Have the right measurement tools. Dive into statistics, request benchmark data, compare how the product is sold in stores, for example.
  • Use the right observational techniques (multivariate testing, expert reviews, lab tests, heatmaps, etc)
  • As mentioned, create an archetype, a user profile based on Personas. Hang these profiles on the wall, name them and make sure it lives within the development team and the rest of the company.
  • Define tasks and scenarios (consider what alternative click paths the user takes on his way to performing a task).
  • Ask him what he needs in order to best fulfill his needs. Or: observe the errors/error messages he encounters while performing his task or test scenarios.

Start qualitative research such as focus groups, card sort research (when you want to logically group your data), A/B/C testing or scenario testing.

Product roadmap prioritization

The product roadmap prioritization is a visualization of a product’s vision, direction and progress, plotted over time. Too often people prioritize in the delusion of the day. This makes the last idea seem the most important. The result is that people work on all sorts of things at once.

A product roadmap is not set in stone but should help to respond to changing customer feedback and changes in the market. You do this by weighing new insights against items on the roadmap. Should we move with it or stick to our plan? So it is primarily a communication tool.

How to use the product roadmap

Product owners use the product roadmap prioritization to foster collaboration with the development team, and it helps them reach consensus on how the product will evolve over time. In doing so, it strengthens the connection between teams and stakeholders. Teams sometimes have no idea why they are working on certain user stories. With a good product roadmap, you show the bigger picture. To get you started, here are our tips for a good product roadmap prioritization.