Why is it so important to consider the user?
As designers we are tasked with great requirements and are expected to convey them brilliantly through design. Easier said than done sometimes. But while the requirements may dictate the design, there is another important element that should always be a driving factor – the user.
Ah yes, the user – the person that holds the power and the person we are all ultimately trying to impress. The user is the person that will interact with our designs through digital works on screens, and print works on paper or throughout a space.
In my opinion it is so important to intertwine the user throughout the process. Any design will be made stronger when the user is acknowledged every bit of the way.
While designing, in order to keep the user in mind, the process should look something like this:
Basic checkpoints should be put in place to make sure that the user is carefully considered during the design and decision making process. Be sure to ask thoughtful questions like “Who is the target audience, what is their demographic?” While designing ask yourself “How will the user be interacting with the design? Where will they be viewing it?”
One of my favorite projects by the design team here at Affari is the branding and website design and development for Dynamis Alliance, a company whose mission is to equip and train against modern day threats. Our designer was asked to first create the branding materials and then the website. During the process, the team had the thought that the dark feel of the website was easy to view during the day, but it could become more difficult at night.
During the day the user would be viewing the site in daylight and therefore could easily read the light on dark text of the website. But then at night, when all the surroundings are not as bright, the user would have to strain to see the site.
A solution to this problem, was to design another version of the site, so the color scheme would adapt to the user’s environment. The light background with dark text version of the site gives the user enough contrast to easily view and read.
All designers can agree that their end goal is to create effective and meaningful designs that are easily translatable and understood – and to this I have to say, “Don’t forget about the user.” By doing so, you will have a constant reminder of their environment and individual point of view.