Checklist: Make Your Solution User-Centered

By Lauri Rummukainen, Design Strategy & UXJun 3, 2021Read time 3 min
Checklist: how to make your product/service user-centric

According to a study conducted by Bain & Company, 80% of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree. The numbers have hopefully changed since the study was conducted in 2005, but the gap still exists. 

Positive outcomes of user-centered design

This checklist has been created for you to improve the odds that your future solutions are among the ones providing a truly superior user experience.

Positive outcomes of user-centered design for different stakeholders are:

  • Executives: it saves time and money, improves user and employee satisfaction, and helps to avoid bad investments by finding them early.

  • Designers: it helps to see a product through the lens of users and focus on optimal concepts and flows instead of focusing on artistic finesse. 

  • Developers: it is a matter of success or failure of the project, better quality of specifications, fewer fixes, and direction changes.

  • Users: not only does it give them satisfaction from using your solution, it ultimately determines whether they’ll complete their desired task or not.

Checklist for creating a superior user experience

1. Consolidate what you know

Chances are that there is plenty of user information in your organization. Start from the research you have conducted during the past year. Hunt down these pieces of information to create an overall picture of your users.

2. Fill in the gaps

Often consolidating what you know won’t paint the complete picture of your users. That means it’s time to start speaking to them. Run surveys online, add analytic tools, test ideas with simple prototypes. Don’t stop until you have a clear picture of the user’s needs.

3. Gain commitment through visualization

Think project stakeholders as users. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with information. Make the project visual and simplify key findings into easy-to-digest user journey maps.

4. Start with a user need

Don’t let a project plan begin with a feature list or an internal goal. Speak to users and find out if that need is a real one and if the project has the potential to address it. If not, let it go.

5. Prioritize based on users

Often organizations have more ideas than what is feasible to implement. Create a policy for efficient prioritization, based on user and business needs, not personal agendas or who shouts the loudest. Beware of senior management’s pets.

6. Focus content creation around users

Replace “what do we want to say” and “what do we want them to do” with “what does the user want to know” and “what will the user do”.

7. Keep an eye on boundary cases

Creating unnecessary complexity is a danger zone. Trying to address all possible unusual or out-of-the-norm needs may easily lead to circumventing the majority's experience.

8. Prototype, test, and iterate

Instead of adhering strictly to project specifications, develop user-facing prototypes first. Then get feedback from real users. From there improve and iterate.

9. Insist cross-team/role collaboration

Users don’t operate or think in silos. They don’t care about your organization charts or departmental responsibilities. It’s a must to work collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams.

10. Someone must make the final decision

No matter how small or large the decision, in the end someone must make it. Ideally, this one someone is known to everyone from the very beginning. Otherwise your solution may come out as a bizarre mishmash. Trust your user experience designer. If you don’t understand the outcome, ask why. Usually there is a reason for everything.

We at Wunderdog use an approach called Double Diamond to help you excel in creating a superior user experience. Book a free 30-minute session to discuss how it could be utilized in your next design and development project.

Interested? Contact us.

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Get to know the actual users before getting too far ahead with the design and development process. Even superficial user research will help you decide whether you should actually commit to the costly development process. Design Sprint is a handy tool for a better product development: