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User-Centered Design (UCD)

What is user-centered design?

User centered design (UCD) is an approach to designing a product or service (e.g. user interface design), in which the end user is placed in the center of the process. The primary concern of user-centered design are the targeted end users of the website or the application and which requirements these users will have. User-centered design ensures that the target users easily understand the user interface and find what they are looking for.

Increasing importance of user-centered design

User-centered design aims at creating a product that suits specific user needs and creates a pleasant user experience. User-centered design is becoming increasingly important in web development. Around the turn of the millennium, web products were often developed with little or no consideration of the user. Today, when the usability of a user interface determines its success, user-centered design is a common approach to web development.

Phases of user-centered design

User-centered design usually involves four specific phases. The first phase of user-centered design is to identify target users and to determine why, how and in which context they would use the interface. The next phase of user-centered design is determining what requirements of the user interface should be met to satisfy the needs of the target users. When the goals and requirements are clear, design solutions can be created in phase three. It often makes sense to create a few satisfactory alternatives using a prototyping tool, for example, and to choose the best one. The final phase of the user-centered design is user testing. This phase allows web developers to evaluate the concept, select the best design option, eliminate usability flaws, reiterate the design and improve user experience.

Related terms

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