Why User-Centered Design is Essential for Memorable User Experiences

Numerous studies across industries have shown that for every dollar spent on UX the ROI is anywhere between $2 and $100. Companies focusing on user-centered design in product and application development are creating better solutions while also driving revenue, loyalty, and market share. Read on to learn more.

Businesses created without a rigorously researched target audience and its needs are set up for failure from the get-go. They may have valid solutions to market problems, but without really getting into the end-users’ shoes, the solutions, in most cases, do not resonate with the target audience as well as they should. This is where user-centered design comes in, and it is a game-changer when it comes to creating experiences that stay with the users, long after their interactions with the brand.

user experience

user-centered design

product engineering


What is User-Centered Design?

UCD is an iterative design process that requires designers to focus on the users and their needs at every stage of the design process.

It is about empathetically understanding the needs of the target audience who will be using the product. It aims to add an emotional impact to the design. Without this, it could result in experiences devoid of the user’s interests, which in turn may cause users to explore the solution’s real potential, or even just discard it.

User-centered design processes need long-term thinking. Its the people who will be using the product and the circumstances and settings in which they will that drive design direction and decisions through all stages of the product development, launch and ongoing development. User-centered design executions are achieved through ongoing user research, usability testing, and iterations.

Designers strive to better understand through usability testing and user research:

  • The objectives users want to achieve by using a product
  • How people feel and behave while using a product
  • The setting in which a product will be used, as well as any constraints that may apply
  • A product’s optimal workflow and how users would complete various tasks during their interactions with it

How does UCD help Businesses?

Choosing the Right Pricing Model

It is almost impossible to select the best pricing model for your product without first considering the end users’ unique goals and needs. How can you determine whether users will pay for your product? Since you’ll be improving it by evaluating and changing it at any point of the development approach, the user-centred design process allows you to create something worth paying for to end-users.

Boost in Sales

Consumers are more likely to use or purchase a product/service that suits their needs and reflects what they want. It also increases competitiveness in the market and users are less likely to select other companies’ products if yours suits their needs better.

Change in Business Attitude

Many businesses are unaware that their consumer approach is outdated due to a lack of practical customer study. There is a reason Netflix beat Blockbuster. The former had a clear user-centered approach that met their needs (immediate access to movies and TV shows), which others could not.

Risk Reduction

The blend of agile development and UCD (user-centered design) is perfect for large-scale projects. Similar to agile development, the UCD process believes in iterative progress based on an increased understanding of what works best for end-users. With UCD, working in sprints, scenarios of costly and large-scale improvements will be rare to your product’s design.

How to adopt the User-Centered Design approach?

Just like other approaches, UCD also follows an iterative method of Research >Ideation > Implementation > Testing > Release > Refinement.

Agile methods are gaining traction in IT organizations as a cost-effective and reliable way to produce applications that meet the needs of the enterprise. User-centered design is an extension of the Agile approach, but instead of using code as the blueprint, it uses visualization to express the solution.

It is essential to embrace a user-centered approach as early in the product development lifecycle as possible. This provides a clear image of how you will use their skills to improve the project to everyone who needs to be involved, such as research, engineering, or marketing teams. A robust strategy will minimize the risk of conflicting projects and wasted time, efforts, and money on unnecessary initiatives.

Read our upcoming blogs in this series for a more detailed illustration of how these methods can be adopted and how several brands such as like Airbnb, Trello, and Uber benefited from UCD.

People ignore design that ignores people.

Frank Chimero

Publish: July 16, 2021


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