Adopting an iterative User-Centred Design approach will save you time, money and improve customer experience.
What is User-Centred Design?
At its core User-Centred Design (UCD) is acknowledging that the end-user is not you. It’s about understanding user needs and expectations and designing with them in mind. It’s testing and validating designs throughout the project with real users; preferably those who are the intended audience. User centred design principles are about putting your own preferences to one side and being more objective – using human behavioural data to inform the result.
Here at Torpedo, by understanding your customers, we design solutions that build trust and get repeat business. Everyone here takes a user centric-approach in everything they do – whether that’s our content and copy experts, video and motion designers, creative and client services, or developers and UI Designers.
Great UCD will find the sweet spot between customer needs and strategic business goals and design a solution that works for both. Critically, UCD is about consulting and testing with users from start to finish of a project as well as supporting continuous improvement once the service or product becomes an operational part of your organisation.
UCD places people at the heart of all business processes – driving compelling content and a delightful User Experience (UX). A famous example of this is ESPN.com. Their revenues increased by 35% after they incorporated suggestions from their community into their homepage redesign.
Source: Inside Design Blog.
The benefits of User-Centred Design
UCD reduces costs due to:
- removing ambiguity about what features are needed and how they should work
- helping you focus on the critical changes necessary to meet business objectives
- increasing your understanding of critical issues early, before committing big spend on development
- helping you determine if your business strategy is viable or not
Adopting a UCD will help you achieve:
- new leads and sales
- repeat business and customer loyalty
- free marketing via word of mouth
- a competitive edge
Did you know?
Visit-to-lead conversions can be 400% higher on sites with a “superior user experience”.
Seventy percent of enterprise CEOs see UCD as a competitive differentiator.
Only 55% of companies are currently conducting any user experience testing.
UCD also helps sponsors, stakeholders and customers get a sense of progress towards meeting their needs and expectations. The incremental nature of the work delivers regular, meaningful value that fosters confidence in the project.
What happens when you don’t take a user-centred approach?
If you don’t adopt a UCD approach then there’s a risk that your customers:
- may not understand how the service you offer meets their needs
- can’t find things on your website as you haven’t put them where they expect to find them
- don’t know what to do and become anxious, irritated, and frustrated
As a result, they might leave your site, never to return. They could tell their colleagues about the shocking experience they’ve had and warn them not to bother – taking their business to one of your competitors. According to Web FX, 89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience.
How we take a user-centred approach
When it comes to designing websites, it all boils down to answering five core questions:
- Who are the users?
- Can they find what they need?
- Do they understand what you are telling them?
- Is it clear what they need to do next to achieve their goal?
- Do they feel positive about their experience?
Let’s take each of these questions in turn and see how a user-centred approach can help.
Who are the users?
Before we do anything else we really need to understand who the users are. These are the people who will engage with your product or service. What do they need? Why did they come to you? What do they expect from you?
You know your customer better than anyone. We’ll run discovery workshops with you so you can tell us everything we need to know about them. In addition to this, we like to talk directly to your customers and prospective customers to fill in the gaps and get any additional insights. Once we know all about the users, we can find out how well your offering meets their needs and expectations.
Can users find what they need?