Usability has been one of the ‘non-functional’ requirements in software architecture for a long time now. However, just because you and your team can use your software with your eyes closed does not mean your users can or will. Usability is a very small subset of User Experience (UX) design and an increasing number of companies in Australia and overseas is paying more attention to this growing field.
Contrary to popular belief, UX design is not a ‘black art’ that only the creative or artistic types can do. It’s not a single discipline or role that’s assigned to one person or team either. In fact, it’s an attitude that everyone involved in the project needs to acquire. Hence, it’s something that everyone needs to learn to make products that people actually want to use. This is especially true in the case of software architects who have so much say and stake on the final product.
The User-Centred Design Process
User-centred design (UCD) is the concept of designing and developing a system around the user to fit the user and business needs instead of the other way round. Just like everything in software development, user-centred design also has some standard processes that can be followed to ensure that the software we build meets the needs of the users and the business. We will look at what the UCD process is and how it can be integrated into our existing software development methodologies and timelines. We will present several techniques in the different stages of the process that you can use straightaway whatever phase you are in your project.
UX design principles we can’t live without
We will look at some of the top UX design principles that we can’t live without in our trade. These principles can (and should) be applied by anyone who is involved in software development. We will show you why these principles work and how they can help you get immediate improvements in the UX that your product offers.