Enhancing User Experience - Oberkassel Tech's Guide to UX Design
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Participatory design processes change product development for good

At the beginning of software development, the requirements used to be established at the starting of the development cycle. This earlier establishment allowed the developers, product managers and stakeholders to give a nearly accurate estimate of the time involved in developing the whole product. In the ideal world, the software would be built and launched at the end of 18 months (an example), and initial users would start coming to the platform. Thus, making all involved parties to be happy and to start planning things accordingly. But, this kind of a model did not used to work out through past stories of product design and development, as having common issues like: not being able to change requirements in between the development cycle, money being spent on irrelevant feature development, false stakeholder promises and ultimately delivering a poorly designed experience for the end user.

To solve this issue, all kinds of users of your platform should be identified before you start creating the requirements, assuring that all users’ needs are heard. Collecting data by understanding their current problems about the identified need, helps visualise and relate to how a user deals with the issue. This understanding enables the design team to create first ideas, drafts, mockups, prototypes. These artefacts are taken to gather feedback from the end-users. Scenarios and tasks should be created where these users can relate and try to perform near-to-real tasks with the first ideas. Feedback gathered from participating users makes sure that the first ideas are becoming more concrete. This process does not stop after the first iteration, but should be continuously conducted when there is enough content for the end user to test and feedback to be gathered upon.

Good design takes time and might be expensive in the starting, but have you ever seen the cost of bad design?

Prototypr , you lose users, you spend more money building and rebuilding; and decrease sales/transactions/click-through. We have all seen how people have tried to build products “quickly” and not spending time thinking about their users, have ended wasting loads of money in the long run.

"If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design."

Dr. Ralf Speth

Involving the user before even setting up the requirements, to making sure that they are satisfied with using the software / platform / product when its completely done (a product is never done though), collecting feedback after frequent use and allowing to act on this data, is the ideal way to ensure that your end users are happy; thus, ultimately creating a good user experience of the application.

Feel free to reach out to us for a call and we can help you shape your design journey forward with us, so that ultimately not only your users, but we all are happier working and achieving this feet together.