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The Importance of User-Centred Design (UCD) In Web Development

In today’s digital age, the business world increasingly relies upon digital-based solutions to give their customers access to their services and as a touchpoint to their business ecosystem.

Whether this takes the form of a custom-built website or template-driven website, your website must be both user-friendly and intuitive to use to truly shine. Below we will discuss what UCD is and why it’s critical to implement when developing a website for your business.

What is user-centred design?

User-centred design is an approach to development focusing on the needs, goals, and expectations of the end user. Essentially, UCD places the user at the centre focus of the final product’s design. This design philosophy considers the following for the benefit of end-users.

  1. Needs: What core elements or information does your user require from your website.
  2. Goals: What are the users end goals or objectives in using your website.
  3. Expectations: Which actions does the user intuitively expect to perform and what results do they expect as a result.

What is the value of UCD to my business?

UCD is invaluable to your business because it ensures that the website you are building is intuitive and easy to use from the end user’s point of view. This leads to higher adoption rates and higher overall customer satisfaction. By focusing on the needs, expectations and goals of your end user, the development team can ensure the website is tailored to the end user in a way that creates real value for those users.

In addition, by focusing on the end-user in the development phase, the development team can better identify end-user-related issues such as ease of use far earlier in the development process. Thus, the final product needs less time and resources to be reworked after real users encounter problems.

UCD promotes a healthy user experience.

UCD helps create a positive user experience on your website; and enhances the overall quality of the user’s journey within your website by making the site intuitive and easy to use for the end-user. This creates a positive association between the users’ initial experience on your website and the business which the website is linked to.

What to focus on during the development stage to implement UCD

The development team should prioritise usability testing throughout the development lifecycle. This testing involves monitoring users as they interact with your website and identifying areas where your users struggle. The data gathered from this testing is extremely valuable because it can be used to refine the design and functionality of your website on an ongoing basis.

UCD helps your business understand your user’s needs.

A direct advantage of testing your website’s user experience, and compiling research on your user’s expectations is that you begin to gain a fundamental understanding of your user’s basic needs and goals. This can lead to valuable deeper insights as you learn more about your users, giving your website a competitive advantage in future development.

Final thoughts

In today’s competitive business landscape, it is important to prioritise your user’s experience to improve the quality of their journey on your website and by extension improve the quality of their relationship with your business and brand.

By implementing UCD in the development stage of your website, businesses can create solutions that are more intuitive, efficient, and tailored to their end-user’s unique needs. The result is higher use rates, increased user satisfaction, and importantly the improved prospect of returning users.