UCD: What is it and why is it so important?
In his book "Web Analytics an hour a day", Avinash Kaushik mentions the importance of qualitative analysis of our site’s metrics and elements. Understanding the reasons of our analysis allows us to incorporate the "voice of our customers" (VOC) in our decision making process and carry out improvement actions based on user interaction with our website or landing page.
According to Wikipedia:
"User-centered design (UCD) is a type of user interface design and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. UCD tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product."
Leaving aside the technical issues, it’s enough to say that UCD is about changing the perspective. No matter what the designer thinks about the balance of elements and colors, or if your boss wants a blue background because it is his favorite color. Every action related to the design process have a strong argument behind, based not in an artistic or subjective point of view, but on a careful analysis of:
1. Key actions that should be accomplished on site
2. How to carry out those actions
But why to design thinking of your customers?
Simply because they are the ones registered on your site, talking about your brand, seeking to meet their needs, and primarily because they are the ones who buy your products or services! They got the money, They got the power!
If the decision-making lost the customer satisfaction as center is likely that short-term results will end in a loss of time, energy and of course, money.
How to make a user-centered design?
There are many tools that enable perception’s studies or Heat Mapping, and help us get valuable insights on the design of our site at a very low cost. My favorites are:
Makes a simulation of human vision during the first 5 seconds of exposure and predicts the visual way that would make the user on our site.
Free Version: 1 image every 24 hours for IP
PRO version: from $ 25 (5 photos)
The best value for your money. Allows to make a heat map of the site, knowing the elements that receive the largest number of clicks and to segment them by type of user, source, keyword, etc..
Free version: no
PRO version: from $ 10
The most complete tool on the market. Make a recording of user activity and get heat maps related to attention and clicks on the site. Allows creation of funnels and has a high level of segmentation.
Free Account: 400 pageviews recorded
PRO account, from $ 99
Design for users helps us understand the the main reason of our site or landing page and with them make better decisions about our business. Be empathic, understand your target audience, measure, test and start boosting your landing pages' conversions.