As boring as it sounds UCD or User Centred design; also known as Human-Centred design process is a hot topic with successful businesses and is what you should be focusing on if you want to join the ranks. As part of your customer’s experience user centred design simply focuses on making things usable.
As Sam Morgan (founder of TradeMe) once said ‘Usability is this concept about not making people have to think’ If you have a kettle with 2 buttons rather than one it makes it difficult to decipher what each does rather than having just the one. You see it every day with the interactions with have with tools, with spaces – our homes and of course websites. So let’s take a look at what UCD can bring to the table.
1. It creates better products.
A process that involves end users as well as those who understand the business objectives will always result in a better product; created for it’s intended purpose.
2. It’s cheaper to fix problems.
By involving and testing out your product with end users you can find and fix when it’s most cost effective! Don’t wait till pre-Christmas shoppers are flooding to your online store to find out your discount code doesn’t work and your potential customers are long gone.
3. Products that are easy to use make more money.
Music to your ears? We yes it obviously is a no-brainer. If you focus on the product, meet the needs of your clients and customers and meet them successfully then the end result will always be what you or your business wants.
4. Ease of use is a common customer requirement.
The terms ‘usability’ and ‘ease of use’ often used to describe what are customers are looking for in terms of quality. Customers and clients in today’s world have two things that are highly important yet highly limited – time and money. If you can take the strain out of their everyday life and meeting their needs then you will achieve success.
The key to achieving a great usable product is to employ an iterative design which refines the design through testing and evaluation. The preferred method for this is to test actual users however, we all know that budgets and timeframe can limit this. As an alternative user testing on system prototypes or a usability audit conducted by experts can be just as beneficial.
If all else fails, ensure your product can be tested by users, any users to see if at least the product has some degree of basic usability, however more than likely you will have to come back to UCD in order to answer questions about either quantitate data results and more importantly the bottom line.