You should know who you’re creating for. Your user is not an abstract substance. Think of a person. Explore your customer persona as you’d like to explore the mind of your loved one. Discover his or her wants and habits.
It’s the only way to make your product win the audience.
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 apps are most popular in your industry? Research your competitors. Do you know what makes people download these apps?
2. Give a miss to the problem symptoms. Solve only 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’ll save you much more down the road.
Many designers say they don’t have time for conducting such detailed customer research. But riddle me this: are you ready to spend time designing solutions for non-existing problems? The answer will definitely motivate.
3. Think of each part of the user experience
Imagine your product design is a body. When one part doesn’t function well, it reflects on everything else. Take care of each part of your design — details matter.
Don’t focus solely on one part of the user experience, every step of user journey matters. Try to see the whole picture. Improving the local experience doesn’t mean that you’ll have a good 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? Details matter.
4. Testing should be your second name
Make usability testing a priority. No matter how much time you spent generating a genius idea — test your design decisions with real people. It’s like black-box testing, but it’ll surely help you ascertain if the app is convenient to use and easy to learn. You’ll be surprised by the number of improvements your design may require.
Remember, you’re not a 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 won’t do you any good.
5. A11Y is your ally
Accessibility (A11Y) has become one of the most popular trends in human-centered design. Today many UX designers started realizing the importance of creating interfaces that can be used by a smaller percentage of the population than the whole.
Many product brands, start-ups, and design studios are still trying to find out how to integrate A11Y in their design process and make it not a stand-alone service or add-on only.
6. Natural language processing in the human-centered design
One of the everlasting human desires is to communicate with technology easily — as if it’s a friend. Recent developments in natural language processing have made it possible. NLP should definitely be mentioned when it comes to human-centered design.
The conversational interface as a kind of NLP technology is what can make your design really emotional and human-centered. Today you can find only two major types of conversational interfaces on the market — chatbots and voice user interfaces.
One of the most interesting chatbots is artificial neural networks that can recognize patterns in speech. They make sentiment analysis and adjust answers based on positive or negative cues of its human analogs.
With a number of successful models to look at, it’s an area that will surely continue to grow in 2019.
Moreover, the time has come when bots can analyze your vocal intonations and understand your emotions. Moodies Emotions Analytics developed by Beyond Verbal is a great example of the app recognizing 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-centered too — they are a significant part of our reality.
Make design usable and useful by focusing on your target audience, their needs, wants, and usability knowledge. Human-centered design can help you meet the main designer’s mission — to improve people’s well-being, user satisfaction, accessibility, and sustainability.