The HOW Interactive Design Conference is for the designer working through complex processes, across platforms, and trying to please both the boss and the client. It’s for anyone looking for help demystifying emerging trends, or the designer, art director or marketer who just wants a better grasp on interactive—from the experts.
For the most part as a web designer, your primary focus is to meet your client’s needs. Right? Well, yes, but it should be a smart, effective design that fulfills the needs of the client’s audience as well. An effective design communicates with the client’s target audience and is easy to use—not just a vibrant, decorative site. In other words, every design should have a user-centered focus.
Why is user-centered design critical for every web design project? According to a study by Gitte Lindgaard, Gary Fernandes, Cathy Dudek and J. Brown, web designers “have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression.” Fifty milliseconds. That’s less time than it takes to make a good first impression on a job interview. Feeling the pressure yet?
Even great and experienced web designers struggle with implementing a user-centered approach . For those wrestling with user experience design, check out these three guiding user-centered design principles from Patrick McNeil’s course, Intro to UX Design.
3 Guiding Principles to User-Centered Design
1) Early Focus on User & Their Tasks
2) Evaluation & Measurement of Product Usage
3) Iterated Design
Here’s a video from the course explaining the principles.
User-centered design (UCD) is similar to a business plan. It stems from market research and knowing the audience’s habits and lifestyle. With this knowledge, a strategic web design may be implemented that connects the audience to the client’s product.
McNeil sums up perfectly UCD’s objective in his course:
“User-Centered Design boils down to seeking meaningful design insights over random acts of design.”
To learn more about UX Design, check out McNeil’s online course. He’ll cover each principle in the user-centered design in segments, providing detail information on what you need to know about each step.
We’ve found examples of UX Design that puts a strong focus on the user. View these smart websites for inspiration:
3 Magnificent User-Centered Web Designs:
by Interaction Designer Julien Perriere
“I was fortunate enough during my internship at Fantasy SF to work on one of their renowned case studies : What If We Could Rethink Digital Healthcare? Based on the work of Sacha Jerrems and Anatoliy Gromov, and with the help of Claudio Guglieri (Director of Design) and Scott Carter (UX Lead), I designed the whole experience from desktop, to mobile and Apple Watch, before it was passed on to the motion team that brilliantly brought it to life.” – Julien Perriere
UX Lead: Stefan Dufgran
Art Direction and Design: Erik Herrström
Development: JP Gary, Arnaud Tanielian, Erik Taheri, Mathias Van Impe, Ethan Cline, PJ Ahlberg Production: Amy Hanley, Lauren Keller
“In commemoration of Mad Men’s series finale, we collaborated with Google to build an interactive retrospective of the show. We worked with Google and Lions Gate to create an archive boasting over 300 pieces of content such as key scenes, stills, storyboards, artwork, cast commentaries and never before seen extras courtesy of Matthew Weiner himself. Users can also dig deeper into their favourite characters or themes. The site acts both as a primer for the uninitiated as well as a trip down memory lane for diehard fans” – Stinkdigital
Madmen fanatics will love this site! Explore here.