Creating websites that put user needs first
When designing a website the end user can sometimes be overlooked, as discussions revolve around business objectives, new web features and technological capabilities.
User centred design is the process of giving the end user a voice and designing with their needs, behaviours and expectations at the forefront of the decision making.
Some of the most successful companies such as SAP, IBM and Accenture have embraced user-centred design principles and processes.
More and more companies are following suit, realising that:
- A brand is only as good as the user experience of a product or service
- User-centered design results in higher Return on Investment (ROI)
During design and development of a website, decisions should be based on the findings from quantitative and qualitative research to answer questions such as:
- Who are the users of the website?
- What are the users’ goals?
- What are the users experience with the website, and similar websites?
- What functions do the users need from the website?
- What information do the users need, and in what form do they need it?
- How do users think the website should work?
- How will users access the website?
Don Norman, widely regarded for his expertise in usability engineering and cognitive science, along with Jakob Neilson, referred to as “The king of usability” are advocates for the importance of usability and have established key components to help the user experience; (Neilson, 1998)
Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the website?
Efficiency: How quickly can they perform tasks?
Memorability: When users return after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the website?
Human centred design
The International Organisation for Standardisation ISO 9241-210 for human centred design for interactive systems (2010) is the basis for many user centred design methodologies.
6 key principles that will ensure a design is user centred:
- The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments.
- Users are involved throughout design and development.
- The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation.
- The process is iterative.
- The design addresses the whole user experience.
- The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.
As websites evolve and more features and content are added. It is important to be even more aware of how each change will impact on the user experience of the website. In order to achieve a consistent user experience our team have developed a core set of principles to inform design decision making.
Focusing on how decisions will impact the end user we craft visually stunning, accessible and intuitive websites.
For more information or advice call our team:
Tel: 01 276 5000
Neilson, J. (1998). Usability 101: Introduction to usability. Retrieved Sept 27, 2017, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-101-introduction-to-usability/
Human-centred design for interactive systems (2010), Retrieved Sept 27, 2017, from https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:52075:en