Developing and designing a product is considered an art. And, this might make you wonder why applications like Spotify, Instagram, or Netflix are becoming popular among customers. What if behind this success, there is an approach that can also help you to create a successful product?
The secret is simple- just transform your products from simple to functional by using user-centered design. As per Forbes, the businesses that prioritize user experience perform better by 5-7%. So, why are we talking about applying a centered design in your software development?
The goal of any business is to win the user’s trust and heart by designing a product that makes their life easy and enjoyable. So, designing your product according to the customer’s needs using user-centered design will make your products grow in the market.
Are you curious to know more about user-centered design and its importance in software development? This article will take you through user-centered design and the benefits of it to the business. Start scrolling and get to know about the approach as much as possible.
So, now that we start, let us learn about what user-centered design is.
What is User-Centered Design?
After User Interface and User Experience, one more word buzzed in the product design field- “User Centered”.
User-centered design or UCD is an approach that places the users at the center of the software development efforts and focuses on creating products and services according to their preferences and behaviors. The actual design of the product is based on the person for whom it is designed. This is why user-centered design is also known as human-centered design.
In simple ways, user-centered design is designing the products according to the demands of the users rather than forcing them to adapt the design. Let us understand it more through an example.
Imagine that you are a website user. What draws your attention? It can be the text size, font, page arrangement, navigation, colors, images, or others. When we talk about these details, we might have the wrong impression that these elements are not significant, but all of these contribute to user experience.
There are five basic principles of user-centered design to keep users engaged in the product development process and get their feedback for your product’s success. These are as follows-
- Principle 1 is the early involvement of the target audience in the product development process.
- Principle 2 is the clear understanding of the needs of the users in context with the use of the product.
- Principle 3 involves the collection, analysis, and incorporation of feedback by the users.
- Principle 4 is applying a user-based approach to develop and deliver the product.
- Principle 5 is using an iterative product design process with user experience as the main element.
With these principles, there are also four main stages in the process of user-centered design. It begins with research and understanding the user’s behavior, wants, needs, and goals they want to achieve with the product.
Then, the next stage is mapping their needs with your business requirements by emphasizing how much the product is essential for the customers and the business. Also, identify key metrics to know how the product meets business and user preferences. The more specific you are, the better you get.
The third stage is generating and creating product design solutions according to user demands such as wireframes, storyboards, user journey mapping, and prototypes that further focus on UI testing.
The process ends with a usability test conducted with users to check what works well and what does not, and where improvements are required.
There is one more thing to know about the user-centered process it does not end at the assessing step. According to the experience of our team, there are more than 2-3 iterations till the product design passes the usability test successfully.
Applications with Good User-Centered Design
To know more about the importance of user-centered design in software development, here we have curated some of the best examples of applications with great user-centered design.
The UX and UI design of the Canva app is praised for its usability, intuitive, and simple interface. The app is considered a perfect example of user-centered design in its navigation and interface that lets the users accomplish their wants on the platform. Also, a huge level of customization is available on the app and its effective collaboration lets the users share their customized designs and get feedback from their team members in real-time.
The design of the Canva application is fully optimized for mobile phones, letting people create and edit designs on the go.
Multiple people around the world use the Airbnb application. The Airbnb app is available for users from different backgrounds and screen types.
The design of the application is intuitive and simple so it does not let you guess where to click next. Created using a simple process, Airbnb uses a user-centered design for several products and services.
When you explore the Airbnb application on your mobile phone or desktop, you will notice that you can find the exact desired property that you want to rent. You can use many filters available on the app like number of rooms available, property type, location, and others. This makes the process of looking for the right place easier and offers a perfect user experience.
Designers and developers are focusing on creating a better user experience using the user-centered approach, and one such example is Duolingo. The users of this app are different and are available around the world. The design team of the app focuses more on creating a gamified and creative design as learning a language through an application is a hectic task and it requires time.
By completing the lessons on the application, the customers earn points and also build a learning streak that motivates and keeps them engaged in the overall process. According to the designers of the Duolingo app, they have improved their user experience as there was an increase in the lessons completed by the users.
Why is User-Centered Design Essential for Software Development?
An interactive user-centered design helps in creating a strong business image, building the identity of the brand, and gaining the loyalty of the users.
With a lot of information being accessible to users nowadays, it becomes hard to get their attention on your product. So, applying user-centered design in the software development process can help you get the attention of the users and increase the business conversion rates. So, here are some points that describe the necessity of user-centered design for custom software development.
- The user-centered design increases business productivity and reduces development costs.
The software developers avoid unwanted functionality and features by focusing on the needs of the users, and design elements that are not ideal for the end-user. This also reduces the development costs and minimizes the time taken to bring the product to the market.
- User-centered design develops user engagement with the products.
The software product that is easy to use becomes more appealing and engaging to the users. This offers high user adoption rates, high outcomes for the business, and an increase in the level of user satisfaction.
- User-centered design is considered the foundation stone for great user experience.
A user-centered design lets the software developers understand the needs and preferences of the users and create products that meet their requirements. This results in the development of a product that is easy to use and provides an exceptional user experience.
The user-centered design offers ample benefits to the business. What if we say, a better user experience can give your business more money? Therefore, taking this further, here are some of the benefits of user-centered design to get high customer loyalty and engagement.
- Using user-centered design can help in saving business money and time to test the software with the users as this cost less than learning from your mistakes by testing a lot of different theories.
- One more benefit of user-centered design is product competitiveness. This is when the users are keen to get your product as it is simple to understand and use and allows them to find their solutions even if they do not know about the user-centered design process.
- Effective user-centered implementation can reduce the risks in the software development process. Every project has its risks, but when using a user-centric approach, there is a chance to solve the problem before spending money on building an immaterial product.
When users get solutions for their problems easily without any effort from their side, it increases loyalty towards the product and the brand. This is how a user-centered design process in custom software development lets the business have a good relationship with the customers.
Design Principles for User-Centered Design
Now, that we know the importance and benefits of user-centered design to the business and get the user’s trust, let us know more about some of the key principles of user-centered design.
Accessibility is one of the essential key design principles of the user-centered design process. For user-centered design, accessibility is the practice to create apps and services that help the users to interact with your products and services. An accessible design ensures that all people can use the products efficiently.
One of the biggest examples of accessibility is Google. It provides customers with various features such as a lookout, voice access, live captions, and others. These let people prevent themselves from discomfort and problems when accessing the products by Google.
Usability is one more principle of a successful user-centered design. It refers to how easy and simple it is for the users to interact with your product and service. In the user-centered design process, usability is the principle that has to be considered throughout the design stages, from creating the idea to reviewing the product.
An example of applying usability principles in design is the app called Waze. The app helps in making travel comfortable, faster, and easier to destination for drivers. You have to just click a few buttons to find the routes and time of arrival to a destination. The Waze app is perfect to get simple and intuitive navigation on the app for all customers.
Engagement is a principle of user-centered design that involves final users in the design process to ensure that the final product meets their needs and preferences. User engagement shows whether the customers value your product or service or not. Engagement can be measured using different indicators by the users such as clicks, follows, downloads, and many more.
One of the apps that increase user engagement is Sephora. The marketplace of Sephora has a Chatbot that assists customers in real-time to help them select the products according to their needs by consulting an advisor. This feature helps people get the right guidance easily and quickly.
How Indglobal Uses User-Centered Design in Web and Mobile App Development Process?
User-centered designed products need user-centered designers. Therefore, according to some best industry practices, many skilled and professional UI and UX designers from Indglobal will guide you to choose the ideal customized solutions for your problem. We aim to provide the best user experience and quality in any type of design we do. Our web designers in Bangalore help you get simple and engaging web and mobile applications.
Here are some tips that we follow to give the best design to the customers.
- Creating user persona
- Testing the prototype
- Improvement and iteration
We focus on continuous improvement that lets our experience in user-centered design allows us to get the best solutions for your product improvement to meet the customer’s needs.
As the leading software development company in Bangalore, it is our motive to develop products that customers need and want. We believe in user-centered design being a necessary part of software development. This approach can help your business by creating products and services based on the needs and preferences of your users.
Your business can also get a lot of benefits from user-centered design for designing the products, creating a strong brand image, and winning the loyalty of the users. Therefore, we can say that user-centered design or UCD is an essential part of the future product development process.
And, if you are interested in learning about UI, UX, or UCD design services, feel free to reach our team of professional web designers in Bangalore who can help you create a successful product to match the needs of your customers. Connect with our best team of skilled developers and develop a product that is loved by your users. We are happy to discuss the best approach to align with your business.