You should know whom you are creating for. Your user is not an abstract substance. Think of a person. Explore your customer persona as you would like to explore the mind of your loved one. Discover their wants and habits.
It is the only way to make your product win the audience it is aimed for.
Identify the context in which your prospective user will most likely use your product. What challenges are expected to be tackled? Get out and investigate. What products are most popular in your industry? Research your competitors. Do you know what makes these alternative products appeal to the people you are targeting? If you are developing an app, do you really know what makes users download apps ?
Give A Miss To The Problem Symptoms. Solve Fundamental Problems
By solving the cause of the problem, you eliminate its symptoms too. Having a firm understanding of the core user’s problems is even critical. No matter how much time this research will take, be sure that it will save you much more down the road.
Many designers say they do not have time for conducting such detailed customer research. However, riddle me this: are you ready to spend time designing solutions for non-existing problems? The answer will definitely motivate.
Consider Each Part Of The User Experience
Imagine your product design is a body. When one part does not function well, it reflects on everything else. Take care of each part of your design – details matter.
Do not focus solely on one part of the user experience; UX is concerned with the overall experience that a user gets when interacting with your product – every step of user journey matters. Try to see the whole picture. Improving one aspect of the UX does not necessarily mean that you will have an excellent overall user experience.
Imagine you buy something in an e-commerce app, and the purchasing flow is really smooth until you want to reach the support team. Here you face the dreaded slow response times. Would you say the overall user experience was good?
Make Usability Testing A Priority
No matter how much time you spent generating a genius idea – test your design decisions with real people. It can seem like (but it is not) black-box testing, but it will surely help you ascertain if your digital product is convenient to use and easy to learn. You will be surprised by the number of improvements your design may require. Test early and test often.
Remember, you are not the user. Developers and designers often face the so-called false-consensus effect. They assume that people who will use a product they created are like themselves. Get rid of this psychology. It will not do you any good.
A11Y Is Your Ally
That being said, we still find several product brands, start-ups, and design studios that are still struggling to find out how to integrate accessibility principles in their design process and make it not a stand-alone service or add-on only.
Natural Language Processing In Human-Centred Design
One of the everlasting human desires is to communicate with technology easily, and seamlessly, just like they communicate with a friend. Recent developments in natural language processing have made it possible. NLP should definitely be mentioned when it comes to human-centred design.
The conversational interface as a kind of NLP technology is what can make your design really emotional and human-centred. Today you can find two major types of conversational interfaces that have been commercially implemented – chatbots and voice user interfaces.
One of the most exciting chatbots is artificial neural networks that can recognise patterns in speech. They make sentiment analysis and adjust answers based on positive or negative cues of its human analogues. With several successful models to look at, it is an area that will undoubtedly continue to grow in 2019.
Moreover, the time has come when bots can analyse your vocal intonations and understand your emotions. Moodies Emotions Analytics, developed by Beyond Verbal is an excellent example of the app recognising emotions from various voice tones. It can decode the whole spectrum of emotions listening to your conversation in real-time. Such technology is what brings interfaces and user interactions to a whole new level.
Humanity thinks the world is human-centered. So the technology and its design should be human-centred too as they are a significant part of our reality.
Make your design usable and useful by focusing on your target audience and addressing their needs and wants. Human-centred design can help you meet the principal designer’s mission – to improve people’s well-being, user satisfaction, accessibility, and sustainability.
(Lead image: Depositphotos)
Want to learn more?
Want to get an industry-recognized Course Certificate in UX Design, Design Thinking, UI Design, or another related design topic?Online UX courses from the Interaction Design Foundation can provide you with industry-relevant skills to advance your UX career. For example, Design Thinking, Become a UX Designer from Scratch, Conducting Usability Testing or User Research – Methods and Best Practices are some of the most popular courses. Good luck on your learning journey!