User Centered Design

User-Centered Design (UCD) is a design approach that involves users in every stage of the process by using various research and design techniques. It is an iterative approach that uses a combination of investigative methods (such as surveys and interviews) and generative techniques (such as brainstorming).

The following are the general phases of the UCD process:

User-Centered Design Process

  1. Specify context of use: Identify who the primary users of the product are, why they will use the product, what are their requirements and under what environment they will use it.
  2. Specify Requirements: Once the context is specified, it is time to identify the granular requirements of the product. This is an important phase which can further facilitate the designers to create storyboards, and set important goals to make the product successful.
  3. Create Design solutions and development: Based on product goals and requirements, start anĀ iterativeĀ process of product design and development.
  4. Evaluate Product: Product designers do usability testing to get users' feedback for the product at every stage of User-Centered Design.

The chief difference from other product design philosophies is that user-centered design tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product so that users are not forced to change their behavior and expectations to accommodate the product. The users thus stand in the center of two concentric circles. The inner circle includes the context of the product, objectives of developing it and the environment it would run in. The outer circle involves more granular details of task detail, task organization, and task flow.