Throughout the development cycle, feedback and input from users is gathered to ensure that the design is based on real data, and not the product development team’s imagination about what users do.
Using this method enables the efficient design of effective interactive systems as UCD expedites and simplifies gathering user feedback and incorporates it into the design process.
Specifically, user-centered design means that product teams start by observing and working with its users. Throughout the design process, users judge whether the product meets their requirements by evaluating prototypes.
After a period of iterative evaluation and design, the technology is built to fit the mockups.
User-centered design is about describing the whole user experience, not just what the users see on the page. It is about relating user goals to application functions, as opposed to taking requirements from someone and turning out web pages.
The deliverable for user-centered design is a product that is useful, usable, and desirable to users, not just the final HTML, programming, or implementation.
Note that user-centered design is different from and complementary to market research. Market research strives to answer the question, “What product should be built?” Marketing knows what customers are asking for, what drives their behavior at the point of sale, what they will pay for, and what determines their purchasing habits.
User Experience, on the other hand, knows what customers or clients actually do, what makes a product simple or difficult, usable or not. Thus, User Experience is better suited to answer the question, “How should the product be designed?”
Marketing, User Experience, and Engineering offer a spectrum of perspectives in product development. Creating the right synergy between these functions so that a successful product is built is not an easy task.