What is User-Centered Design?

User interface design aims at providing a simple and efficient interaction in terms of accomplishing user goals—what is often called user-centered design.

A good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to the process itself. The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs.

What is Usability?

Usability is a measure of the interactive user experience associated with a user interface, such a website or software application. A user-friendly interface design is easy-to-learn, supports users’ tasks and goals efficiently and effectively, and is satisfying and engaging to use.

Benefits

Customer Experience

A customer experience is the holistic experience that customers perceive as they interact with every facet of a product or service. Individual experiences add up to form a concept, which becomes the product’s “brand.” If a user experiences poor technical support, or a sales person was rude, the user is likely to develop a negative perception of that product’s brand.

User-Centered Design improves the customer experience associated with a website or application. An understanding of the users’ needs and preferences with respect to a task, goals, or features of a product or service, becomes the set of user experience requirements. These requirements should be implemented throughout the entire customer experience – every “touchpoint” that the customer has with the company.

Employee Productivity

When re-designing the customer experience, it is a good idea to also evaluate how the change may affect employees of the organization. Conduct user research on employees from a variety of departments – not only the employees who have direct interactions with customers – as any change to the customer experience has the potential to impact all employees in an organization.

The level of employee productivity, with respect to a specific task or set of tasks, is often based on the tools that employees use to perform job-related tasks. In many cases, a software application or website is one of those tools.

As employees use these tools to do their job, they develop a perception of each tool’s user experience and level of usability. For instance, as an employee looks up customer records or creates a sales transaction, the experience will have an impact on how they feel about their job, the company they work for, i.e., the brand they perceive, and ultimately, this will influence the way they treat other people, including co-workers, managers, and customers.

Advantages

  • Products are more efficient, effective, and safe.
  • Assists in managing users’ expectations and levels of satisfaction with the product.
  • Users develop a sense of ownership for the product.
  • Products require less redesign and integrate into the environment more quickly.
  • The collaborative process generated more creative design solutions to problems.