User Centered Design


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How user centered design is critical to business.

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User Centered Design

  1. 1. You probably don’t care about usability or information architecture. But, you do care about saving money, saving time, and creating quality products and services. Fortunately, the goals of usability and information architecture completely align with business and marketing. Introduction Page 1 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  2. 2. Focusing on users gave us graphic user interfaces ike Windows and Mac OS. Before that, computers were for computer scientists; unusable by the masses. The world we live in, especially the internet, would not exist without the graphic user interface which created a way for everyone to use the power of the computer. Early pioneers in the field applied one idea to the computer that revolutionized the world. Simplicity. If you don’t make something simple to use, it doesn’t get used. Every Web site, every application, is a graphic user interface. History Page 2 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  3. 3. Usability is part of the academic sciences called Human Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI involves computer science, behavioral science, human factors science, design, and testing/analytical methodologies. Information architecture has some ties to the library sciences but deals with the structural design of information. Today, User Centered Design is an umbrella term that is used to refer to both disciplines among other things like visual design. Definition Page 3 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  4. 4. When creating anything from an The research firm The Standish application to an e-mail, taking Group stated that in 2009, time to focus on user centered 24% of IT projects were design improves success. cancelled prior to completion or delivered and never used. Not focusing on the user can lead directly to failure. Failures in the last 5 years are actually trending up. The research firm identified one primary cause for this: Not focusing on the user. Rate of Failure Page 4 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  5. 5. Many goals are accomplished through user centered design: • Increase User Confidence • Save Time and Money • Reduce Development Costs • Increase Usage and Adoption • Increase Quality and Competitive Advantage Goals Page 5 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  6. 6. Increased user confidence may seem abstract. But, it leads to real financial gains. Microsoft found out that by increasing confidence in the minds of those using their search engine Bing, it added $80 million in revenue ~ cnet news. How did they figure this out? By doing user research. Increase User Confidence Page 6 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  7. 7. Save Time and Money Page 7 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  8. 8. Maintaining software is expensive. A study conducted by Human Factors International found that 80% of software life-cycle costs occur during the maintenance phase. A completed application costs 100x more to fix than in the design phase. 15 minutes design = 25 hours development User centered design shifts work to the design phase by identifying problems before they exist. Reduce Development Costs Page 8 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  9. 9. Adoption is the end game for Web sites and applications. If the experience is positive and it meets a real need, then it succeeds. If not, it fails. Increasing usage gets us to adoption. But, don’t assume that if software usage is mandatory it will be used. Poor usability causes postponement. For instance, if you had a time sheet system with hard to find job codes buried in a giant list, users will put it off because of the negative experience. Low usage in this instance causes lost revenue with billing. Regardless of brand Web site or B2B application, increased adoption and usage is everyone’s goal. Increase Usage and Adoption Page 9 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  10. 10. User centered design does more than save money. Sometimes, it can keep you from failing altogether or in the case of one company, annihilate the competition. In 2001 when the iPod was released it was just another MP3 player. Nine years later Apple has captured almost 75% of the market and is gaining momentum in all mobile computing. The iPod had the same capabilites as other MP3 players. How did the leaders in that industry lose so much market share? They failed to understand the user. They failed to make things simple to use. Increase Quality and Competitive Advantage Page 10 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  11. 11. User centered design will not be effective without the right budget and timing. The most important thing to know about timing is that testing is pointless unless you schedule enough time for new designs to be created and tested again before development. Testing should be done early and often. Budgeting is a trickier thing to manage. Overall, the higher the project's expected value, the more you should invest in usability. A pro forma statement can help clarify what is to be gained with a usability investment. Anywhere from 10-20% of the budget should be directed toward usability. Timing and Budget Page 11 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business
  12. 12. There is no question user centered design provides substantial ROI. It is not a “nice to have”, “phase 2 initiative”, or purely qualitative exercise. Clients may seldom consider how critical user centered design is. However, focusing on the user will serve to further all marketing and business objectives. If your business is committed to providing the highest value to your clients, usability will be part of what you sell, how you pitch business, and your design and development processes. Conclusion Page 12 How User Centered Design Is Critical To Business