Whether you are creating a product or offering any service, you can employ the techniques of Human Centered Design (HCD) to your advantage, ensuring best possible user experience. It can be applied in website development as well. How? Before working on the website design and development, we must have a clear idea of the website goal, user personas and their experience journey.
Human Centered Design is the backbone of UI/UX
Human centered design can also be termed user centered/friendly design, but the point is we are humans after all. It all comes down to one thing, which is to keep the users in mind from concept to result.
Usually, when we first build a website, we focus on impression, rather than experience. We think in terms of interactive style, color codes, graphics and budget, that we ignore user experience journey altogether. Some website developers work on user experience, but they think in term of impression, than giving ‘actual experience’.
Build your website around your target audience
It is important to know the requirements of your target audience, if you want the website to be relevant and successful. The first and foremost part of HCD application to website strategy and development starts with research. If you are developing a website for a client, then effective communication with him/her is necessary to understand client’s target audience. In fact, include your client in team discussion to brainstorm a strategy. You can also get a little creative by using tools like whiteboard, flip-chart and post-its.
For a successful website development, a long and valuable discussion with client can shorten the hours to be spent on website designing and content development.
Website must satisfy the end-users too
This is especially if you are building a website for a client. It is good to create a website that satisfies your client’s need, but it is great when the website can also satisfy client’s customers (end-users).
If you are developing an e-commerce website, you must understand purchase psychology to strategize an experience journey map for the end-users, from landing page to checkout page. One can easily say if the website’s strategy is built upon user experience on the first few seconds of visit. Gamified website for a youth club, video landing page for a photography agency, story blog for an NGO — you get the point, right?
Human Centered Design is not a rocket science, it’s all about empathy
For instance, let us consider the scenario of a CEO who is searching online for a logistics service. There is every possibility that this persona could be busy, worried and might be looking for instant solution to his company need. If he happens to land on your logistics business website, there are chances that an irrelevant and hard to navigate site with frequent pop-ups can turn down a potential lead for your business. All because he did not ‘feel’ that he has not gotten into a right place. All because it comes down to experience, no matter how great your pop-up offer could be.
In fact, one does not have to go on an extensive research to study user personas. Common sense and a little bit of empathy can do the magic. With all possible information available at the click of a mouse online, it is easier even if you prefer to study user personas, their pains and gains to come up with a great experience journey map.
Final note to keep in mind if you are creating a website
Standard website design is no more a fitting solution for all purposes. From website to emails, brand identity and user experiences are employed to stand out from the crowd of competitors and distractions. Spend 20% of your project time on a valuable discussion, brainstorming experience journey of the users on your site. If possible, include people of various background in the discussion to arrive at a sensible concept. The end result will only amaze people.
Do you think it’s time website developers and graphic designers employ techniques of Human Centered Design to build better UI/UX? Leave a comment below or reach out to the author via [email protected], content strategist from Webdefy – a new age digital marketing company that transforms brands online.