what is user-centered design
It has long been recognized that we need to consider human capabilities and
characteristics when designing technologies and systems. As Nickerson summarized in 1969, when the potential for computer-based technologies was first being fully recognized: ‘‘the need for the future is not so much computer oriented people as for people oriented computers’’ (Nickerson 1969, p. 178 in the IEEE version). Since then a number of fields have grown up, expitly concerned with how to design effective technologies and systems that are intended for human use. UserCentered Systems Design (UCSD or HCSD or when the word ‘‘human’’ is used instead of ‘‘user’’), User Experience (UX), User-Centered Design (UCD), Interaction Design (IxD) and Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) are areas of research that have taken up that call and are concerned with improving how people interact with computers. Each of these has a slightly different focus and breadth, and each encompasses many different approaches. What they all have in common is that they grow their methods and deliverables in response to changes in the technological
User-centered design (UCD) or user-driven development (UDD) is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centered design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem-solving process that not only requires designers to analyze and envision the way users are likely to consume a product, but also to validate their assumptions with regard to the user behavior in real world tests. These tests are conducted with/without actual users during each stage of the process from requirements, pre-production models and post production, completing a circle of proof back to and ensuring that “development proceeds with the user as the center of focus. Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of a product to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user’s learning curve may look like. User-centered design is common in the design industry and when used is considered to lead to increased product usefulness and usability.
user centered design process
Plan – First of all you need plan of action for your website and put together a Project Team to manage the process.
Analyse – .Then time to conduct detailed analysis – review your current website, research your target demographic , how they use your website and create scenarios that will test the user journey.
.Competitor analysis- potentially solving for similar user needs,and thinking what is exactly your user want.
.Audience definition- Nail your value proposition ,understand the raison d’etre for your product can you target the right audience.finding what is their biggest, deepest problem and solving it.
.User scenarios-user scenarios help stakeholders envision the ideas of the design team by providing context to the intended user experience – frequently bridging communication gaps between creative and business thinking. For the design team, scenarios help them imagine the ideal solution for a user’s problem.
.Content survey- you can ask real visitors during their actual visit. People forget things easily and later they can give different explanations. With a survey in your product you can gather valuable information about who they are and why they’re there.
Design – Here’s where you begin to determine your site requirements, create a content inventory, sitemap and develop a prototype to launch the site for testing.
Test and Refine – Once the site is launched, it’s vital to test the usability of the site with the target demographic and evaluate the feedback. This will ensure the site is fully optimised for the target audience user experience and identify any flaws; allowing you to make changes and refinements for a better functioning site for the end user.
why user-centered design it is important
User – centered design is an important role whenever we design consumer facing products where all the research, design decisions are made by keeping the end users in mind. Products & ideas are designed in order to provide users easy solutions for their real life problems which can simplify life.product’s success will be based on how you understand users & how they actually use your product. user -centered design make you to understand what difficulties users face, how can you simplify them, consider different types of real life scenario in which users would use your product & how can you provide an seamless experience.From the executive’s perspective, it saves time, cuts costs, improves satisfaction, and ultimately saves money.
source: wikipedia. http://www.springer.com www.usertesting.com