I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise when I say that User Experience is an absolute must-have in the development lifecycle of a product.
One of the most common problems that I’ve encountered when first analyzing an application is that it is often built up around what people think the customer wants, rather than an analysis of what the customer actually wants – or even more importantly – what the customer needs.
Let’s say there is a software application that you or someone you know interacts with on a daily basis that could really use an update. You have some ideas on what is needed but, as a stakeholder, you’re hesitant to make a large financial investment in a new software application without a full grasp of what is needed.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I understand my users’ needs and current frustrations in their entirety?
- How often do my users seek assistance when interacting with the application?
- Is my system built on a strong technical and strategic foundation that will satisfy my long-term goals?
- How can I validate the usability of my application?
These are only some of the questions that are worth considering before initiating a development process. By bringing UX thinking into the very beginning of the process, it helps bring into focus the real obstacles, and subsequently, the strategic approach to overcome them. At the same time, on the back end, whatever has been designed needs to be built. And how something is built plays a major role in how it works for the end user.