user centered design process

User-centered design process (UCD)

 the user is at the center of the development and design, design concentrated on solving real-world problems

Good design is making something intelligible & memorable. Great design is making something memorable & meaningful. – Dieter Rams


persona – a representation of a type of user

design language – a universal set of standards (typography, color, animation, photography) that will be used throughout a project

fidelity – how much detail is in rendered artwork (low fidelity at the beginning of the project, higher as the project progresses)

kaizen – a japanese term meaning constant revisions & improvements

information architecture – the page structure of your website

Phases of user-centered design

  1. Research
  2. Concept
  3. Design
  4. Test

Research phase- The most important step. Helps you understand the problem you are solving

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What are similar items that already exist?
  2. What problem is this design solving?
  3. Who is your intended audience?
  4. How will you gauge success?
  5. Create persona’s (people you think will be using the design. The first round of revisions, they will be fake/based on research and experience. As you go further into the process, they will become more real, based on actual data you are collecting from your customers
  6. can offer insight into users. Type in a brand/person/thing and it will compile a profile based on saved data. Free & reliable data

Concept phase

  1. generating and validating ideas
  2. The product is coming into form

Design phase

  1. All about the content, devoid of styling (think of a wireframe with low fidelity)
  2. How do you know that your designs make sense to your intended audience?

Test Phase 

  1. the design is tested with users using various strategies
  2. it will be tested over and over until the user is happy
  3. once the user is happy, it can be turned over to a designer for styling

Each pass through this cycle, everything becomes clearer. The user, the concept, the direction becomes clearer

In the digital industry – 

  1. a choice of a button color can triple click through rates
  2. changing your color palette can have significant changes on your message, doubling your audience
  3. a powerful image choice can dramatically increase emotion and create a feeling of connection with your audience
  4. consistent user interface is vital to customers, it builds trust and and helps users understand the product
  5. good design brings consistency to chaos


asking users questions through a survey is a direct way to collect data

watching someone interact with your product is incredibly eye opening. Seeing how they interact with your piece is incredibly insightful in a way a survey taken remotely can not be. Seeing where they pause, where they smile, where they stumble in the navigation. This is all information that can steer your process. 


What problem is your design solving? Does it help make the world a more fair place? It is about entertainment, education, escape?


millions of people have disabilities that affect them online. It is essential that the web provide equal opportunities and access. As you craft your digital product, how can you be thinking about accessibility? Do users have the ability to increase font size? It there a mode they can enter that increases contrast? Are you avoiding color combinations that are hard to read for colorblind/visually impaired users

Where to start?

Identity what is the most important

What is the first thing the user sees? First impression

feedback from stakeholders