User-centered design process:
As a UX (user experience) or product designer, we must be responsible for designing for end-user or customers. Our role here is similar to that of a lawyer on behalf of an end-user. Finally, product will be used by end-users/customers. Product success is driven by how we deliver products, as well as experience across all interactions between products & users.
UCD is a design philosophy where the end-user needs,
wants & limitations are a focus at all stages within
the design process & development lifecycle.
It’s a non-linear iterative process to achieve user satisfaction by empathizing with the user’s perception, context of use, frustration, motivation, limitations, needs, & goals while keeping business goals in mind. At the end of the day, create a product that is highly usable, accessible to users, & good enough to increase ROI.
Benefits of UCD process:
By using the UCD approach, we can gain a deeper understanding of the problem. As a result, we can offer more precise solutions that are both less expensive and time consuming.
The process of UCD:
The Interaction Design Foundation claims that 4 steps of UCD should be followed to build the product. Each of the stages should be implemented & iterated until satisfaction is achieved.
- Understand context of use
- Specify user requirements
- Design solution
- Evaluate against requirements
I’m going to interpret those steps for a better understanding.
Research: Understand context of use
This is the level of deep understanding of the user or customer. Basically we use various research methods depending on things like budget, need, context. It’s really important to combine the right activity at the right place, so based on our research findings we should place our right solution.
Research methods produce data and insight. Qualitative research methods produce observational findings that identify design features that are easy or difficult to use, whereas quantitative research produces one or more metrics (such as task completion rates or task times) that reflect whether the tasks were easy or difficult to perform.
Sometimes people can’t say, what they actually want. They just do it by habit. So observation plays a significant role in UX research. So, as researchers, we should be good observers to empathize with their emotions, behavioral insights, and habituations.
Why: Uncover what we don’t know about users’ needs
When: Before bringing a new product, project, or feature, as well as before improving any existing features
Goal: Validate & identify assumptions, then share information with your team.
We consider these methods to know the actual problem that we are gonna solve.
- Field studies
- Diary studies
- User interviews
- Stakeholder interviews
- Constraint inventory
Strategy: Specify user & business requirements
A UX strategy is a set of actions designed to improve the organization’s user experience in the future over a set period of time.
A UX strategy’s scope can range from a single product, service, or feature to multiple products and services or entire organizations. Regardless, a solid UX strategy ensures that user-centered insights are incorporated into the business strategy.
Goal: Understand problems & how you satisfy user & business needs.
- Competitive analysis
- Calculating ROI
- Persona hypothesis
- Journey mapping
- Design reviews
- Task analysis
- Card sorting
Design is not just what it looks & feels like. Design is how it works.
At this stage, designers create visual designs based on research findings that can interact with people’s emotions, cognition, and behavior. We should create a design that not only meets users’ goals but also has a natural flow that users will enjoy using. To accomplish this, designers must gain a deeper understanding of human perception, cognition, emotions, habits, behaviors, HCI, etc.
UI design guidelines are also important, like visual balance, grid system, typography, iconography, and much more, to produce aesthetic & elegant interfaces. Designers could follow Google materials design guidelines and Apple human interface guidelines to ensure quality design. Sometimes we follow specific other design guidelines based on product requirements.
Method designers could follow:
- Task flow
- Information architecture
- User journey
- Scenario mapping
- Visual design
- Interaction design
Evaluate against requirements (Usability test):
This is the stage of testing our design or ideas in order to make sure that the user knows how to use them & what they truly resonate with their needs.
According to Neilson Norman groups, “A common mistake people make when facilitating usability tests is to treat them more like interviews, like a conversation instead of observation, and doing things like interrupting, asking priming questions, or offering assistance.” On the other hand, some facilitators are afraid to talk to the test participant at all– they never probe and are unclear how to respond when the user asks her a question.”
Before conducting usability tests, Facilitators should learn how to approach interviewees. It is critical to provide a comfortable environment for both the researcher and the interviewee. This includes not only the places but also the interaction, discussion subjects & questions, manners, and so on.
Important to ensure things in usability tests:
- Typical user: Recruit the right participant. Find a participant with a background in the product type for which you are designing.
- Appropriate task: Write the task around the content of interests. We should indeed consider the tasks that a user might realistically be required to complete.
- Skiledl Facilitators: It is critical to understand how to stay out of the way of the user and not bias the user in any way.
- Qualitative testing
- Benchmark testing
- Accessibility evaluation
- First impression test
- AB testing