How user-centered design methods increase customer satisfaction and engagement?
Technology keeps evolving and it does it rapidly– new apps and websites emerge as you read this text and creating them is always a complex task. In this ever-changing world, one thing is constant: products are created for people and are used by them. This is why User Experience Design is today as important as ever. In this article we speak about it in detail – do read on!
What is User Experience?
Before we dive into the world of User Experience Design, let’s look for a moment at the User Experience itself.
Statistics show that User Experience is one of the most important factors leading to the success of a product. Recent research proves that 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after their user experience was bad. At the same time, it is estimated that every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100!
What is User Experience Design and why does it matter?
Going back to the User Experience Design (also known as UX Design or User Centered Design), we may say it is the process of designing a product with the user experience in mind. Simply put, UX Design is all about making a product that offers great experience and is easy and pleasant to use – a product that is centered around the user!
UX Design is a popular term for a good reason. Without it, products simply fail to sell, don’t attract new users and make customers look for better solution somewhere else. PWC discovered that 32% of customers leave a brand they used regularly after only one bad experience. This is why UX design is at the very heart of most companies around the world, especially those that are keen to be successful in creating new products.
How to Create a User Centered Design Process?
When using UX methods it is crucially important to remember that you are designing for humans, meaning that you understand human behaviour and psychology and take them into consideration when coming up with new solutions.
Another aspect you should remember about when working using UX methods is that you are also designing for devices. Today’s world relies on a variety of different devices used by people on daily basis (smartphones, tablets, PCs) and it is vital to take that into consideration when creating a product.
User Centered Design methods are based on a few important principles, which can be summarised as:
- the involvement of the users from the very beginning of the design process,
- the clarity of the requirements,
- the importance of regular feedback and frequent changes that are introduced immediately when the needs arise.
The phases of the UX Design process are as follows:
- Establishing the context, meaning doing the research: identifying the end users, thinking of why they will be using the product you are about to design and what will convince them to choose it among others.
- Establishing and understanding the requirements, meaning identifying both business requirements for the product and the goals the end users will have when using it. A great option that will help you with those first two steps is a discovery workshop, organised to evaluate your ideas and plan the project in detail.
- Creating design solutions while taking into consideration the human being you are designing for. This part is usually done in stages and requires great organisation of work and the best experts. If you decide to work on your project with an external partner, a great solution is to organise a software product design workshop which will help you get from the idea to the final product, while being guided by people who have vast experience in developing similar projects.
- Evaluating the product, meaning testing it regularly and getting feedback directly from the users and clients. This stage is crucially important as it allows to see the strengths and weaknesses of the design, introduce any changes needed, and check the reaction of end users.
UX Design at your fingertips
Coming up with a product using User Centered Design methods is a hard work and it may be difficult to do it all on your own. It may be that you will get stuck at some point of the process or that you decide you don’t have enough people to do it the way you want right from the start. In such cases, a great idea is to get help from one the software design consultancies. Collaborating with such an external partner will give you access to expertise and experience and will help you at any stage of the design process.