As we have discussed in class, when designing a product or service specifically for the user, it is extremely important to probe them with numerous questions and to make sure you completely understand their requirements, needs, wants, and desires. One of the most important things to remember is that you, the developer have much more knowledge about emerging technologies that can benefit them significantly. That is why you need to focus on asking them very specific questions as to what they ultimately want to accomplish. When focusing a product using a User-Centric design, it is important that all areas of the design process are covered completely. This is why market research is such an imperative part of the process because the more you know about your user, the better the finished product or service will be.
Also, understanding that iteration is necessary in any design application is extremely important as well, because the first design will never be the best design. By creating a starting point, you can then consult the user to ask them if they agree with what you are doing. Going back and making alterations will be an ongoing process, until the best design is agreed upon, which usually occurs after many sketches and meetings with the end user. Also, by creating surveys and other forms of user feedback are other great ways to gain knowledge of what your target market is looking for. Since the process of design is an intensive and time-consuming process, structuring the process by using models to make the operation flow smoothly is an extremely beneficial tool.
In Chapter 10, it is further discussed how important the user is in the process of design. When the user comes to a developer and provides them with wants, needs, and desires, the goal of the developer is to address each and every one of those requirements in full detail. If you create a product or service that doesn’t satisfy the user, it is pointless, and a waste of time and money. This is why market research is so important because you can never have too much information about your user and target market. When structuring the design, it is necessary to implement all of the gathered data from your user. Each design will incorporate functional data, user characteristics data, environmental data, and usability requirements and goals. As we discussed in class, there are many ways to gather this data, but it may be a time-intensive process. Also, we need to take into account that some of the data may be inaccurate, because some users receiving the surveys, questionnaires, etc may not answer the questions honestly or completely. Although this is discouraging, it does happen and needs to be accounted for when designing the product or service.
Since these two chapters focuses so much on the user, it is important to remember that you cannot focus on solely one group or market when designing the product. There are many factors effecting the ultimate design and use that need to be considered. Like the previous reading, it is interesting to see how current products and services were designed to best fit the requirements and application. I enjoyed reading it because it was extremely detailed and gave us good insight as to how extremely important the user is when designing a product.