Are you the user? Are you really the person that is using your product or service? What if you are not? Or both? Does that mean you know what the user needs from you product or service? In designing products we have some ways of getting the user involved in designing. This way we can full fil the needs of the user and the business requirements.

The best of both sides creates value.


User Centered Design

What does that mean? Thinking like the user? Pretending that you are the user? Playing the role of the user? Being an famous actor in your own movie? It is not all of that. It’s a start when getting involved in Design Thinking, but not a user centered design method or process. Yes, how do we get the user involved in our design process. How do we start achieving that? The only good answer is getting in contact with the user in different ways. The best way you learn someone is to meet the person in a different situations, place and time.

Reduce friction
What happens if the software (business) doesn’t understand the workaround of the user, or the user doesn’t understand how the software is intended to use? In both cases it would be a horrible user experience. What to do about it? By getting in touch of the needs of the user. And how do we do that? Of course don’t forget the needs of the business, they pay your bills (via the end user :).

You’ve got to start with the user experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around – Steve Jobs 1997

Being a UX Designer in large organisations it can be hard to reach the real end-user. Let’s think of the managers you properly have to convince why you want to get in touch with the end user, to finally get to know your colleague, that really has the possibility to contact an end users. It can be a struggle and doesn’t have to be. Let’s say that you managed to get in contact with this end user. Now what do you do?

Here 5 tips you need to know when you start with user research;

  1. Building a relationship
    properbly when you have contact with real end users of your product, you would like to contact the person more than once. Building a relationship with the user changes the way you communicate with the user. Therefore you should be aware of the possibilities and independencies of building a relationship.
  2. Approach
    We all have our own way of communication. Even the way we communicate can build a strong relationship. We don’t have to like every person, but having a good way of communication with each other will help you reach your goal.
  3. Context
    Be care full when you are approaching a person. You need something from them not the other way around. Deciding when to approach can influence there ability or willingness to help you out with the questions you have.
  4. Listen
    Everything that a person is telling you, is important, for you to. Even when it has nothing to do with the research you are doing. By showing and reflecting that you are really listening, you make sure the user is more willing to tell you more.
  5. Perception
    It’s in our nature that we want to find simularities when meeting new people, so you can build a good relationship quicker. For doing interviews you should try to question even thinks the person tells you, when you think that you understand. That’s your perception, that you think you know.