User-centric web design• Is a method of web design where the content, design, and usability factors are allplaced in accordance to the target audience’s needs and goals• In summary, a design that is centered around the user. The essential elements of UCD for web sites are :- 1. Useful 2. Easy to use 3. Efficient 4. Engaging
An useful site will be :• High quality, accurate content that is relevant for the audience.• Updated frequently with graphics and/or animations that illuminate content or, inthe case of dynamic content, perform a function.• Robust , with breadth and depth of content that makes the site understandable forfirst time users and valuable for repeat and highest value users.• Added value when it has reference resources, useful links, interactive tools andcommunity elements• Must support user goals by guiding through proper text and visual cues.• Should help users to accomplish tasks e.g. search tools, FAQ’s, easy to access contactinformation – to help them when they encounter difficulties.
The easy-to-use site should be:- Intuitive and clearly navigable Should make it easy to access information via useful search functionWell thought out information hierarchies/categorizations within and between site sections
The efficiency of a site can be measured by evaluating if the site is : Error-proof e.g. no missing pages, broken links, or non-working advanced scriptingcross platform and cross-display compatibleshould degrade well on older systems and lower speed connectionspage loading times should be minimal (ideally less than 5 seconds)forms should functionshould be high system visibility that keeps users updated on system status whendownloading assets, loading new pages or encountering errorsThus, the efficient site will be technologically sound, accessible and flow well
An engaging site will be able to : Inspire vision Better communicate message Encourage repeat visitations while promoting trust and confidence in an organization Be attractive through the proper use of appropriate layout, content, tone and mode ofpresentation Will use graphics in a relevant and illuminating manner Will utilize aesthetically pleasing and eminently readable text and typographytreatments Will employ effective, moderate use of color and backgrounds.A site that is useful, easy to use and efficient will almost by definition be an engaging site.*Source: Swandivedigital
A good example of a site that adopts UCD in practice is the new Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) new corporate web portal.
For further information on User Centered Design (UCD) , please email to email@example.com