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User-centered Design

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User-centered Design Definition

User-centered design is a set of processes that help designers get in the headspace of the user when designing a product. It's a powerful tool that designers can use to create a naturally intuitive product that requires little memorization and is accessibility-friendly. Without user-centered design, it's much easier for products to turn out unwieldy and frustrating. 

What are the main user-centered design principles?

1. A clear understanding of user and task requirements

The first thing you need for the user-centered design process to work is a clear understanding of your users and what they need this product for. What components will this product need, and how can they fit together as intuitively as possible?

2. Incorporating user feedback to define requirements and design

During the various stages of development, you should incorporate user feedback. This will help ensure that you're on the right track and give you real-world data to lean on. 

3. Early and active involvement of the user to evaluate the design of the product

Getting users on board early on will help you create a product in line with their needs and level of understanding. Getting this feedback early in the process will prevent you from undoing work later on. 

4. Integrating user-centered design with other development activities

Of course, the design phase isn’t the only stage of product development. Integrating user-centered design principles throughout the development cycle will ensure that you consistently adhere to the design process. 

5. Iterative design process

Finally, adopting an iterative design process will give you the flexibility to make critical changes to improve your users' experience. A more linear process can lead to more difficult-to-undo issues. 

What are some examples of user-centered design?

There are plenty of great examples of user-centered design in today's world. Apple products and software are infamously great at implementing user-centered design principles, as are services like Duolingo and Spotify.

General FAQ

How is user-centered design different from human-centric design?
User-centered design focuses on your demographic of users, while human-centric design focuses on all humans. One is moderately exclusive, while the other is completely inclusive.
What are the stages of the user-centered design process?
Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

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