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Many firms’ design and development decisions are increasingly oriented toward human-centered innovation. Instead of rushing goods to market, these firms are using a user-centered design approach.

Design and development teams build high-performing digital products or websites that uniquely meet customers’ demands by concentrating on the user experience. After all, a good web design is helpful in boosting the business reputation or user experience.

This post will define user-centered design, discuss its fundamental principles, and describe the user-centered design process.

What Is User-Centered Design?

To create an enjoyable solution to a problem, user-centered design is a collection of iterative design processes concentrating on the user’s needs at each step. In UCD, the expectations, objectives, and preferences of the user significantly impact design decisions.

Additionally, users are actively involved in the entire process from start to finish. User-centered design principles encourage designers to create products with users rather than just for them. This strategy typically includes user research, interviews, usability testing, and a massive amount of feedback gathering.

UCD Requires Four Fundamental Components:

  • Visibility: Can people see what your website is about and how to utilize it the moment they land on your page?
  • Availability: Is your website user-friendly? Can they swiftly locate information? They should be able to find call-to-action buttons, menus, filters, and search choices with ease.
  • Legibility: Is the text simple to read for users?
  • Language: Is the language simple to grasp for users? Do you avoid using industry jargon in your UX authoring, which might lead to confusion and hesitation?

What Is The Significance Of UCD?

User experience is important in product design, especially in digital products such as app design, web and interface design, and marketing. Customers want their lives to be simplified. A website, app, or product exists to fulfill a consumer. Hence its success is determined by their interaction with it.

The following are some of the advantages of a user-centered design strategy for a business:

  • Customers keep coming back for more
  • There would be an increase in sales
  • Creating polished, efficient, and widely available goods
  • Understanding challenges thoroughly to provide suitable solutions
  • Customers and teams working together
  • Avoiding typical blunders
  • Enhancing Competitiveness
  • Assisting them in comprehending their market

It offers consumers the following advantages:

  • Making their life easier
  • Fulfilling their desires
  • Companies making them feel heard and understood
  • Making them feel important in the creation of things they use
  • Providing answers to challenges they were unaware they had or could not imagine solutions to

Let’s dig in to learn more about the advantages of UCD.

Businesses can benefit from using the user-centered design approach in various ways. As you incorporate this into your web development, you can enjoy the following four main advantages.

1. Prevent Project Failure

Your company might find it simpler to incorporate improvements and ensure your product is in line with actual user needs if you have a continuous feedback process assessing how customers react to your product, like a website.

Customers feel like their needs are better represented in the finished product, which can increase engagement and strengthen the bond with the company.

2. Improve ROI

This method produces products that more accurately reflect user expectations. The procedure also lessens mistakes made by website users, for instance. When combined, these factors motivate users to convert from leads to paying clients, boosting return on investment.

3. Increase Development Efficiency

In user-centered design, the objectives of the various team members are aligned. This can help clarify the best course of action for all parties involved. A more targeted, goal-oriented development process may be encouraged by the regular evaluation process.

Additionally, businesses can engage stakeholders and explain how their efforts and methodologies will improve customer interactions by using an iterative life cycle during product development.

4. Up The Level Of Competition

Customers will more fully appreciate what you offer, improve their engagement with your product or website, and be more likely to purchase from you if your product is created with their needs and expectations in mind.

As a result, this may increase your ability to compete in your sector.

5. KPIs Are Included

Given your user needs and business objectives, how do you move from the first to the second? You can measure key performance indicators with this in mind once you know what user needs are essential for the overall goals.

For instance, productivity may be the focus of office software, shopper activity may be the focus of sales tools, and retention rates may be the focus of other apps. All of these are necessary steps toward achieving business values like profit and revenue.

Human-Centered Design Versus User-Centered Design

There is a significant difference between humans and users. Simply put, all users are humans; however, not all humans will use your product. Therefore, you must thoroughly understand your target market to produce a successful user-centered design.

Detailed research should be done on the problems and goals of your users. Then, talk to them and give them several chances to offer feedback. By doing this, you’ll create a user persona that is complete and that you can use to determine the priorities for your design.

It’s critical to understand that different user groups may have additional requirements, levels of technical expertise, and expectations for using products like the one you’ve made.

What crucial guidelines or principles should designers consider when adopting a user-centric design?

The Process Of User-Centered Design

Certain fundamental principles underpin user-centered design. While the development process is always iterative, no explicit methods for implementation are specified. The approach can be implemented in either a waterfall or an agile environment.

1. Contextualization

The first step is to analyze the environment in which users will use the product. What are the intended applications of the product for future users? Teams working on projects can get answers by watching and talking to potential users.

2. Outlining The Prerequisites

Specifying the requirements for the new product is the second step. In this step, user requirements are described while considering corporate needs.

3. Design

Once the requirements are established, the actual design process can begin. Designers typically start by producing a straightforward prototype, like one made of paper, then move on to digital wireframes and a finished prototype.

4. Analysis

The project team solicits feedback from potential users after creating a prototype. This is typically done for digital applications through in-depth user testing and qualitative research.

Do surveys and tests evaluate user satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency? With the new information, the project team goes back to step 2 or step 3 of the design process to improve the product. Once the user feedback is satisfied, these iterations continue while taking into account corporate frameworks (time and costs).

Top 10 User-Centered Design Principles

Principles of user-centered design attempt to guarantee that usability is the primary priority throughout the development process. These principles, if successfully followed, will ensure that user experience is fulfilled not just during the initial introduction of a product but also during its use.

Furthermore, each of the following principles may be tailored to match the specific requirements and interaction demands of any product.

1. Use Simple Language

Professional Web Designer strives to provide the most readable discourse for the user while creating a product. This involves clarifying vocabulary, eliminating jargon, and simply providing information pertinent to the work.

Presenting users with irrelevant information throughout their use of the product taints its usefulness. Furthermore, basic language helps the user finish the work without being overwhelmed or confused.

2. Feedback

Users expect a reaction to all of their actions. This might involve modifying the look of the screen after completing an activity. If the job is finished after some time, it should display a loading page to notify the user that the task is in process.

Keeping the user informed throughout the process reassures them and keeps them on track with their job.

3. Maintaining Consistency

Keeping the product consistent is essential in ensuring an ideal user experience. Consistency affects how customers approach a product, and the time it takes to learn how to use it.

From the start of the project until its completion, the consistent philosophy underpinning the UCD process should be maintained. If the interface design needs to be updated, it is critical to maintaining consistency across new features to stay beneficial to the user.

4. Give The Complete User Control

Consumers are already aware of their requirements. They should be able to use a product with minimal effort and depend on the product’s help to accomplish the rest.

By removing the effort from the job, the user can do it quickly while keeping control of their activities.

5. Describe The Situation

Before developing a product, the designer must first investigate the ideal user and their wants. The designers can gain a comprehensive sense of some of the issues these people experience by studying their lifestyles.

Many of these observations are conducted through interviews. These interviews provide the designer with information on the exact goals that users want to attain and how they want to achieve them.

6. Examine the Design

Designers undertake usability testing with actual users of their product at this stage in the UCD process. This stage provides designers with insight into how consumers will interact with the product and how to modify it to suit them better.

It is advised that this stage be completed as quickly as feasible. The sooner customers provide input, the faster designers can comprehend their product from the user’s perspective.

7. Create Designs That Are Specific To The Needs Of The User

The design team must examine the distinctive features of their intended demographic as well as frequent real-world activities while beginning the design process. Furthermore, the product should be appropriate for the environment in which it will be utilized the most.

Making a product that needs a lot of work from the user reduces its usability and usefulness, ultimately defeating the objective of UCD.

8. The Design Process Is Iterative

Because user-centered design is based on putting the user first, the product team should constantly be working to improve the user experience. By introducing changes gradually, you will gain a better understanding of your target audience.

9. Adequate Navigational Tools

An essential component of the user experience is the capability to navigate between pages of your website and return to the previous one. Make sure users know where they are on your website and how to leave any pages they don’t want to see.

Customers can better understand how to navigate your page by giving them features like a navigation map, for instance. Make it simple for customers to change their order without leaving the current page if they buy clothing and discover they need a different size once they reach the checkout page.

10. Unflawed System

Customers should find it easy to navigate between your website’s pages and accomplish their goals. If they make a mistake, be there to help them fix it so they can achieve their goal.

The form may ask for specific, essential fields, such as the square footage, and may also include a gentle reminder or an alert that appears if the user accidentally leaves a required field blank.

Customers may feel more comfortable responding to your prompts and participating in a conversation if you ask questions one at a time and offer automated responses for each response.

Wrapping Up

User-centered design is more than just making a good product. It goes further than that. You demonstrate your motivations and intentions by putting your users in the spotlight. You’re demonstrating that it’s not all about meeting deadlines or turning a profit. Instead, you’re telling your users that you understand what they want and prioritize their needs.

It should come as no surprise that the most effective teams are user-centric. Knowing your customer is essential for success in any industry, including design. Create products that put the user first, and you will create products that people will love.

You can build a more robust, user-friendly website that is better equipped to respond to user needs and expectations by incorporating the User Centered Design process into your product design. However, it’s crucial to collaborate with a specialist who can apply these techniques and produce the result you’ve envisioned.

 

Featured image by pch.vector on Freepik

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As we head into the final month of 2022, plenty of new ideas and website design trends are still emerging. The evolution throughout the year has been exciting and designed to help website designers and developers create greater engagement and interactivity while pushing the envelope. These trends are no exception.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. Video Game Inspiration

That space where reality and virtual reality merge is popular for website design. Trending are design elements and themes with a pseudo-video game style that looks interactive, somewhat real, and much imagined.

These websites can have a variety of looks and themes but have a few key elements in common:

  • Plenty of animation
  • Interactive elements, real or perceived
  • Fast motion that puts the user in the scene
  • ”Unreal elements” such as the bat-skull for Mythical Games
  • Dark color schemes
  • Often lack traditional navigation or calls to action so that the “game” is the whole screen
  • Leading text or design elements to help you move through interactions

Each of these examples takes a similar but different approach with their video-game-inspired design styles.

Adidas uses a three-dimensional trio of people in flight to get you interested in jobs at their animation studio. The point of view makes you feel part of the action, but traditional design elements, such as navigation, help you know what to do next.

Mutant Stand looks like an old-school video game and moves between a home screen with navigational elements to more of an in-game experience. The motion creates an interactive feel even before you dive into the design.

Mythical Games is an actual gaming website design, so you would expect video game inspiration here. Interestingly, this site takes the most subtle approach, although the design elements of fantasy are strong here.

2. Difficult Typography

Sometimes website design trends can be tough to explain. That’s the case with this one, where designers are experimenting with very difficult typography styles. What’s difficult about the text in these projects is readability.

Difficult typography is somewhat subjective but is emphasized by designs that have a lot of words. The reading challenge extends to mobile design, particularly when these fonts are smaller and can present even greater readability issues.

There are a lot of different styles and combinations of typefaces that can cause readability challenges. Some of the most common for website design include:

  • Condensed or thin typefaces
  • Unusual character styles or strokes
  • Modern or thick serifs
  • Old world styles
  • Scripts or cursive styles

All of this, though, is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. While these examples all present some reading challenges, the designs are still interesting and visually sound. Whether to make these font choices is a personal choice, but you should pay attention to your audience base and website analytics to make sure it works for you.

Here’s where you probably see a lot of this trend outside of website design. Pay attention to the typefaces used for World Cup broadcasts. Difficult typefaces are paired for all on-screen text elements.

Kakeru Yagou uses an interesting modern serif with a bit of a tilted style. As a logotype, the typography works pretty well. It is when there’s a lot to read that the challenge comes into play.

Abymes Numerique uses a condensed typeface in an all-caps style. Either of these options alone might create less of a readability concern than when paired.

Think Dance uses an incredibly interesting but difficult typeface for the two keywords on its website. They do an excellent job by using only two words and pairing them with easy-to-read options everywhere else. But it still takes a minute to think about and comprehend the words, so you can argue the effectiveness of the font choice.

3. Avatars

Already popular on social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook, avatars are having a pretty big moment in website design as well. The big difference is that website avatars aren’t just cartoon heads, they can include full-body designs and animated effects.

Avatars can have an extremely personal look and feel, such as when they are used for portfolio websites or be more character-oriented. Both are an excellent way to use faces and incorporate somewhat of a personal element when you don’t have the right photography for the job or want a greater element of whimsy in the design.

Simona Nikolova uses an oversized avatar for her portfolio site. She pairs it with her name to create a connection with users, and the style shows her creativity as well. An avatar is a good way to “show yourself” in a portfolio without the privacy concerns that might come with an actual photo.

Byte Trading uses “Lego-style” avatars to get you interested enough to “enter” the website. Each avatar moves and changes clothing to get you ready to enter the website for the crypto marketplace. Avatars are a popular option for crypto and NFT websites.

Pomelo Paradigm uses three-dimensional avatars to create scenes throughout its website. These created characters help explain what the company does and interactions people should have with the design. They have very human looks, and you almost don’t miss that they aren’t actual photographs.

Conclusion

As we head into a new year, what website design trends are you most excited for? Do you plan to try new things with projects in the new year? Hopefully, these trends give you some ideas and jumpstart that inspiration heading into 2023.

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Need help with your NoSQL migration? Look no further than our « NoSQL Migration Essentials » Refcard. We walk through the primary steps for moving out of a relational database, plus important design principles to understand and consider in your migration process.

Readers will review key concepts that range from denormalizing and modeling data to defining access patterns, designing primary keys and indexes, and creating an entity relationship diagram — all demonstrated with a simple site application example. As a bonus, readers can use the included JSON structure at the end to interact with a NoSQL playground.
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About This Series

Last time, we covered a scenario in which a threat actor found leaked RSA private keys used by a TLS wildcard certificate for “Poor Corp.” By chaining the leaked private key with DNS misconfigurations, the attacker was able to impersonate a Poor Corp subdomain and use it to create highly effective phishing emails.

In this series, we will dissect not just what an attacker can do to get access to credentials, but also what they would do after getting that initial access. We will walk through a different threat scenario in each part of the series and tell stories of malicious hackers that are either true, based on a true incident, or reasonably theoretical.

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Color and depth are key themes this month as we look at what design trends are happening across websites. Red is the primary color of choice, and you can see it almost everywhere; the new thing is that it’s being used in backgrounds and as more than an accent color. Additionally, 3D elements and depth of field are making significant impressions.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. Red Backgrounds

Red is the color of power, passion, and attention, but until recently, it wasn’t the go-to choice for website backgrounds. Now trending is red as a background color.

These designs are bold and in-your-face with bright color, an almost brash feel in some cases, and a lot of impact.

But it works.

In the projects below, red is a powerful tool to help convey the message of the website design. The color demands that you engage with the design to see what’s happening and the content therein, and in the case of Pentel, it’s part of the brand color.

Arze uses a bold red background with a smaller inset of contrasting color to show items on the site. It’s an interesting and quite bold choice. The red background carries through the scroll as well. This is a use of color that verges on off-putting but still gets the point across and helps show products thanks to a lot of contrast.

Russia Invaded Ukraine is a perfect use of red as a color that invokes feelings of passion with content to explain the conflict. Red can be a charged color; here, that’s precisely the intent.

Pentel uses a red background that’s a little softer than the previous examples. Here, red is a brand color, and they use the background to help draw attention to items and elements on the site. The red carries below the scroll as well to keep the theme moving.

 

 

2. 3D Icons and Graphics

Three-dimensional elements seem to keep ebbing and flowing with designers. We see a lot of 3D in projects, and then it seems to vanish again. It’s like we haven’t really figured out how to use it well or in a way that works with the content of various designs.

Admittedly, 3D icons, graphics, and illustrations can be difficult to create and use. Often they look a bit light and don’t go with all kinds of content. Therefore, they don’t get used that often.

Each of these projects takes a different approach:
Admilk goes all in with a series of 3D animations featuring the brand name. They are fun, light, and a bit unexpected. The graphics include objects that look like balloons, milk and cereal, and grass with flowers. (Click through to see each one.)

Refokus uses three-dimensional objects that move on a scroll to create directional flow and visual interest in a space where there’s not much else in terms of art. The objects stick with the aesthetic on the scroll and create an interesting element that carries you through the design without overwhelming you with tricks.

Junni is one of those website designs that goes all in with 3D. This illustrated bubble style of graphics is beginning to be a 3D trend in itself as a style that’s being used more and more with icons and even emojis. It has a light feel, and the animation almost makes it seem silly and somewhat childish.

 

 

3. Long Focal Depth

It’s been a while since a true photography or videography trend made this roundup, but there are so many instance of this image/video style in projects it can’t be ignored. Long focal depth is almost everywhere, from travel sites to architecture to e-commerce.

Long focal depth or depth of field allows the image to show a lot of space in an image in a way that’s sharp and viewable. Depth of field, in photography terms, is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in an image that are acceptably sharp.

In this trend, each website features a strong image with plenty of depth of field. The image can be still or moving, and the image is the thing that really draws you into the design.

What’s great about this trend is that you can see a lot of a scene and even feel like you are part of it. It’s an engaging visual concept that can work for a variety of purposes.

Interest Media uses a video reel that slowly zooms even further out. The image is lovely, and with the text overlay is easy to read and understand. It almost feels like you are walking backward on the bridge in the video.

Bloomingdales uses an immersive video with plenty of depth and virtual reality elements to create an immersive shopping experience. It makes you feel like you are in the store via the website and encourages shopping. It’s a fun way for the retailer to showcase its 150th anniversary.

 

Arredamento Design uses a photo with a wide focal area to provide interior design inspiration. Note the crisp lines and ease of which you find yourself engaging with the image, or even imagining a room like the one pictured. The effect used in the design, with a zoom on scroll, pulls the user into the image even more. Depth here keeps the motion and zoom from being too much and almost allows you to see more and feel even closer to objects that are further away in the image.

 

 

Conclusion

There are two trends here that tend to cross over into one another: The color red is everywhere and having a major emergence this fall as a dominant hue and depth, and three-dimensional focus is everywhere.

Both are highly usable design elements that can be incorporated easily, making them even more likely to continue to gain prominence in projects.

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Today, the cloud environment has been chosen by many business solutions as the major hosting environment for their applications. They can either choose Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), or Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) different solution types to build up solutions to meet business requirements. However, storing business data in the Cloud environment will have a great challenge in exposing business data to the public. As the concerns data security issues, every Cloud platform vendor provides a different solution for data security. Understanding the similarity and differences in those solutions will help the business clients choose the proper solution for the business applications.  

This article will discuss the primary solution use cases and major differences in secret key management among the Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud Platform for managing secret keys, certificates, and data encryptions.  Although a platform could provide a similar solution or indirect solution for a specific use case, it will still be compared as a difference as long as it is not a commonly used use case.

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Cloud services from multiple vendors would allow business enterprises to access best-in-breed services and technologies. According to the data published by Faction, about 92% of companies have already switched to a multi-cloud environment and 82% of the large business entities adapted to hybrid cloud infrastructure. This clearly shows the influence of multi-cloud strategy in the business world.  

Multi-cloud infrastructure plays a key role in improving the IT infrastructure of an organization which leads to experiencing huge benefits. Adapting to the multi-cloud infrastructure would enable businesses to meet the business needs and expectations of modern consumers according to the market condition. 

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With IoT solutions implemented in fleet management, the supervisors and managers will know about the vehicle’s health, current position, updates from the drive, fleet health, cargo, and so on. No matter where you are located, the right fleet management structure will make it more proactive and precise. 

Understanding Fleet Management and the Role of IoT

The basic purpose of fleet management is to structure the fleet and its activities to get the best outcome. In terms of management, this includes taking care of the vehicles and drivers, monitoring the vehicle’s health, tracking the cargo, ensuring that the vehicles can deliver the cargo on time, adjusting the vehicle route, and so on. 

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