User centered designs are gaining increased popularity with every passing day (Duechting, Zimmermann & Nebe n.d.). Analysis, design, and evaluation are the three key phases of user centered design process (Henry n.d.).
Good vs. Bad Design
A good design is one that is accepted by the customers based on its user friendliness and easy functionality. On the other hand, a bad design is one that makes customers uncomfortable with the use of the product. A good design results in increasing the customer satisfaction level and eventually the customer base, whereas a bad design significantly reduces the number of customers for the company. Some examples of good design include use of normal font, no error messages, correct alignment, and use of easy language. On the other hand, some examples of bad design include more error messages, more dumbness, incorrect use of colors and fonts, and inappropriate alignment of buttons. Let us discuss some of the main benefits that make user centered deigns a key trend in the software industry.
Some of the main features that make user centered design a need of today for software developers include reduced development time, usage savings for customers, reduced costs for companies, increased number of customers, and higher return on investment (Serco 2001). Let us discuss all of these benefits in some detail. 1. Reduced Need of Redesign Reduced need of redesign is one of the main benefits of user centered designs (Userfocus 2013). Although user centered designs take more time for development because of some additional stages and iterations to ensure the usability of the product, but it eradicates the need of redesign because of high customer satisfaction level. When a company designs its products according to the needs and demands of the users, the level of customer satisfaction rises. Customers become satisfied with the design of the software product because of which they adopt the product instead of rejecting it and making the developers redesign it to make the users satisfied. For example, Microsoft develops user friendly Office software because of which no major changes are brought to the existing versions of Office even when a new version is brought into the market. The new versions only include some innovations but the key design of Office remains the same. The intent is to increase the sales as customers like to buy the new version of the product with which they become familiar and satisfied. 2. Usage Savings for Customers User centered designs also add to the savings of the consumers in terms of money, as well as time. Reduced task time, fewer usage errors, and increased efficiency are features of user centered designs that make them highly valuable for the both consumers and developers. Consumers do not need to spend money on buying alternate products. Similarly, software development firms also do not need to bring in improved versions of the product after correcting the errors time and again. 3. Increased Number of Customers User centered designs increase the customer base for the software development firms because of which their graph of annual revenue increase every year. Consumers like to buy such products which provide them with desired results easily and efficiently. For example, people prefer using Microsoft Office to develop documents and