The First Person We Need to Meet Before Developing an Application

I hope to meet them….

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

“Where is he/she?”, “Has he/she been discovered?”, “We can’t start work yet if we don’t know him/her.”

Yes, that is the word that appears when we want to create an application. Many people are looking for them to get views of an Application, and that person is the user.

In developing an application, we cannot immediately work without knowing the desired needs. We must involve users in developing applications because they are the ones who have the motivation and goals in using our application. In the end, we will make the user the center of our work due to the importance of the user’s role to produce an attractive and easy-to-use application.

User-Centered Design

User-centered design is a method of a creative approach to problem-solving in a design that makes the user at the center. It is part of the SDLC (System Development Life Cycle), so the designs made on UCD will be optimized by the developer according to the user’s needs. Thus, the resulting application will also meet user needs, user habits, and desired business goals so that users do not need to change their behavior to use the application.

User-centered design has several principles such as,

  • A clear understanding of the users, tasks, and environments;
  • evaluation-driven design;
  • considers the overall consumer experience;
  • involves the consumer in the design and production process.
  • use scientific data;
  • mitigate errors to prevent errors that occur due to users

Here is the process of doing a user-centered design:

  1. User-research. It aims to identify users, their needs and goals, and under what circumstances they will use our application in the future.
  2. Collect solutions and define requirements. It aims to identify the requirements needed to be able to develop applications from what we have got from users and business goals.
  3. Create Design Solutions. It aims to create a solution to the requirements that we get when doing user research. Usually, at this stage, we will start looking for ideas to make a design in the form of a wireframe frame and a better design with a high fidelity design.
  4. Evaluating the design and conducting testing. Usually, in this process, we will perform usability testing with real users. We will also get feedback from users and understand our design from the user’s point of view. This process is usually a process for quality testing in software development.

Persona

In implementing UCD, we need to have an overview that can include all users of our application. Therefore, at the User research stage, we need to create a persona as our reference point. Persona is a fictional character that describes the user who uses the application and helps us develop it. Creating personas is to helps designers understand users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. Usually, there are not many personas because the purpose of the persona is to cover many types of users who will use our application.

The personas created should be based on real users’ observations and not made from our assumptions about the user. To create them effectively, you need:

Some characteristics of a good persona :

  • Reflect patterns observed in research
  • Focus on the current state, not the future
  • Realistic, not idealized
  • Describe a challenging design target
  • Help you understand users’ context, behaviors, attitudes, needs, challenges/pain points, goals, and motivations

Here’s Persona that my Software Engineering Project teams created — for a judicial monitoring app :

Persona 1
Persona 2
Persona 3
Persona 4

After seeing these personas, my team was able to make a suitable design. Below I will show a design that meets the needs of Ezra Lubis (lecturers) to see an overview of the monitoring report of the student and can view the student’s report online without having to meet in person.

Screenshot of Dashboard — Super admin
Screenshot of Daftar Laporan Pemantauan - Super admin

Conclusion

The user is the crucial part of making application design. In creating applications, we cannot rely solely on business goals to develop applications that users can use. We need to implement a user-centered design to understand users’ needs, goals, motivations, and habits. Then, we also need to create personas that represent the needs and goals of our users. With personas and business goals, we will be able to make good application designs.

References

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STEPHEN HANDIAR CHRISTIAN

STEPHEN HANDIAR CHRISTIAN

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