There are many components that go into designing a functioning website. A lot of that rides on the usability of the site. The user needs to able to easily navigate and get what they need from your website. So, what are some concepts of user-centered design?

There are certain requirements for websites and a lot of them serve different purposes. User requirements is what the user wants from the system. How do they want to use it? What do they need from it? These can be things such as moving through the site quickly and being able to find out product information. The real trouble is that the user cannot always communicate these needs directly. This responsibility falls onto a business analyst within the company. They can use user tests to help determine user needs. All of these kinks can be sorted out during a phase in the design process called Empirical Measurement of Product Usage. This requires a lot of user testing to see what areas need to be fixed. I believe that this is the most important aspect of designing a product because the company isn’t designing something for their use, but for the use of the public. Sometimes, they do not know what they need. The only way to find out is to fail. They need to create a product that does something that the user doesn’t like, so they can recognize what their mistake was. Eventually, they will be able to discover patterns and will be able to better predict how users will react. Practice makes perfect, especially in product design.

User needs are different from business needs. Business needs focuses on the organization’s goal. For example for the Abercrombie & Fitch website, the business’s goal is to make money by selling their products. They want to generate sales. This can be adding sales buttons, different ad images and more. But what happens when business requirements and user requirements don’t mix?

On the Abercrombie website, there is currently a member-only sale going on. The business requirement is that they want to promote this sale as much as possible because they want a) generate sales and b) want to gain more loyalty members. They have many prices changed to say “myA&F pricing”. This can confuse a first-time user because there isn’t any links to sign up attached to this pricing or instructions on how to sign up. At the very top of the page, under the user logo, there is information on this account but it is very hard to find and not very user friendly. Here we see a clash between business requirements and user requirements.

“Business, User, and System Requirements.” Enfocus Solutions Inc, 1 Oct. 2014, enfocussolutions.com/business-user-and-system-requirements/.

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