We’re often asked what the benefits of employing user-centred design are and this week’s article summarizes the top reasons why user-centred design is the ideal design methodology for website development. User-centred design focuses on the needs of your target website users and content managers who need to support and maintain the website. Theses users may enjoy the benefits listed below.
Benefits of User Centred Design
1. Reduced Development Time
Focusing on the end user and organisational needs from the start will reduce the development time by:
- reducing the late changes otherwise needed to produce a product that meets user needs
- reducing the cost of future redesign of the architecture to make future versions of the product more usable
2. Increased Sales
The first thing in business you learn is that the customer is king and this is no different on the world wide web. Focus on your end user and you will:
- increase your competitive edge by being be able to market your online product or service as easier to use than your competition’s.
- increase your repeat sales from your satisfied customers.
- increase your brand equity and credibility in the press due to increase product/service ratings fro improved usability.
3. Usage Savings
Time costs money for both your staff and your customers. Increase usage savings by:
- reducing task time and increase productivity
- fewer user errors that have to be corrected later
- fewer user errors that result in increased quality of service
- decrease training, support and documentation requirements
- reducing staff turnover as a result of higher satisfaction and motivation
4. Support Savings
Do and fix things right the first time around and you can enjoy support savings by:
- reducing costs of producing training materials
- reducing time providing training
- reducing time spent by other staff providing assistance when users encounter difficulties
- reducing help line support
5. Improved User Satisfaction (‘quality of life’)
- less stress from frustrating software
- users are more satisfied with the process
This last one is subjective, but the great thing about usability is that you can continue to improve user satisfaction. Test, Study, and Optimize!
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