User-centered Design and
It’s Importance in Consumer Electronics

Criador Labs | Published : Feb 2019

If you search Why a Product Fails? One of the top reasons that comes out is ‘Product Failed to understand consumer needs and Wants’. Even in our day to day life, we come across products which actually looks great but not so much once you start using it. Don’t be surprised if I tell you that all the big tech giants have such shame. Take Google Glass as example, Great Looking, high features AR Device. In 2015, Google has to discontinue because mainstream consumers disliked the device awkward appearance and high price tag.

So, how to design a Product keeping user at center? How to make your product get accepted in your target audience or the mainstream?

First let’s understand what is User-centered Design?

Products are designed to meet business goals through the fancy features and advanced technology. However, these product design approaches leave out one critical factor i.e. End User Experience.

User-centered Design (UCD) is the Process of developing a product from the perspective of how it will be understood and used by any human user.

A Product can be tailored to support it’s target user’s expectation, behavior and Lifestyle. Employing UCD to a product design results in a product that delivers more efficiently, satisfying and user-friendly experience.

In Consumer Electronics, Usability is a measure which help a user to achieve the set goals effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily in a specified environment. This can be attained through a user-friendly interface design. Devoid of usability can cost you time, effort and can significantly influence a Product’s success or failure.

User centered design is usually based on ideas and concept for it to remain focused on usability throughout the entire development process and further throughout the product life cycle. Let’s look at some of the key concepts behind User-Centered Design and their Importance.

User takes the charge

Any user buying or using a product knows what he/she needs. For the user to do what is required, they should be able only to take what is required and leave the rest to support an individual request. Limitations evoked by the product should as minimal as possible which prompts the developers to provide easy ways to achieved what is frequently needed.

You might know about Apple Mouse, maybe even using one right now. It’s a Great Product but has one annoying limitation.

The Product while charging needs to keep Inverted or angled, because of the charging port at the bottom scroll are. However, this doesn’t make the product itself bad, but it does evoke limitation on user. Your Product should be able fit with user demands as easily as possible.

Design for the users

Any product designed for a particular Consumers should be absolutely aware of their lifestyle and Work environment. It is important for the developer to consider the characteristics of the user population, the tasks involved in the real world and the specified environment. Fancy Product with lot of high-tech features is cool. But Is it really worth? The answer should be yes during your development process.
For Example, Philips Cooktop Induction has tens of Menu, Almost for Every food you are supposed to cook.

But in Daily use, we observe that we only use a couple of them, and rest of them are useless. It takes time and resource to have such features but if your users are never going to use, it’s a waste. To Make a Product stand out, understanding the Needs of your user is vital.

Easy Operation and Functionality

Any general user should be able to understand your product Functionality. Don’t confuse users with tons of options and features. There should be clear and simple ways to carry out operation in your product. And If Something goes wrong, you need to have exits and termination option. Also, A great product asks for easy handling. One of the Best things about Latest MacBook is not it’s advanced technology or Powerful Processor, but it’s simplicity with style. Same with the Surface Laptops.

The One Finger Lid Opening makes you open the device with just one Finger. This Effortless handling of the device makes it stand out against competitors. It gives the user a satisfying feeling while using the product.

Reduce unnecessary mental effort by the user

Users like to concentrate on the task at hand and worry less or not at all of the tool in use and its interaction with the designed product. They are more frustrated with complicated interaction with the device. Why? They are distracted from the main work.

Often we give this example of Our Office’s Samsung Microwave Oven. Unlike conventional Microwave oven it doesn’t have a door handle. For First time user, it can be frustrating experience given there’s no Indication about how to open the oven.

Too much effort invested in learning on the operation part makes them less efficient and prone to errors. Instructions on how to use should be clearly defined and can be retrieved when needed.

An Error-Free and Consistent Product

Lastly, A Product is great only when it’s error free. Its going to get all the love from consumers only if it can deliver all the time without compromising any outcome. Remember Samsung Galaxy Note 7?

No Doubt It was a Samsung Flagship Device. But due to several cases of battery failure causing device to burn, it got banned for a while. Even though this failure occurrence was fairly low, still the risk of such error never let it win the consumers.

To Summaries things up, in a rush to put the best product in market, Companies put a lot of effort in adding technology, fancy look and attractive features, but most of them leave out the Usability factor. Hence facing rejection in consumer market and lose of business and money. To win the Consumer Market, you must make a product for consumers.

Are you someone planning to launch your cool idea into the market? We recommend you to talk to a product innovation firm like us first. We work side by side with design and technology keeping users at center. You don’t need to rush your product; a great product is going to stay great as long as it’s relevant and useful for its users. Take time to build your idea and product design. And If you need help, ask us. We provide all type consultation and help to the startups and buzzing minds.


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