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Three Ways to Become a More User-Centric Company

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Three Ways to Become a More User-Centric Company

For every company, the user should be at the center of everything you do, but it can be hard to get to that point. It goes beyond just implementing a few new processes or introducing new tools for UX/UI designers, it extends to actually changing mindsets throughout the entire company. It’ll take time and patience, but there are a few things companies can start doing today to take their first steps toward changing those mindsets and becoming a more user-centric company.

1. Get in touch with your customers

First and foremost, you need to get closer to your customers if you want to understand their needs, as well as the needs of their potential end users. A good way to start is to set up regular phone calls—or even in-person visits—with your customers. Not only does this help you build a closer relationship overall, but it helps you gather more information about what they need to get the most return out of your solution and how you can help get them there.

2. Set up Customer Advisory Boards (CABs)

We’ve had tremendous success with our customer advisory boards. They’re an absolutely amazing way to identify patterns in user behavior and user needs that are present throughout a group of customers. And because they rely on an open dialogue between the attendees and the host, CABs also help us to understand our customers’ specific pain points so we can prioritize addressing those for future releases. CABs benefit customers too, because members can see how other companies are using your products and use that as inspiration within their own company.

3. Test, assess, retest

From a UX-specific point of view, the strongest approach to understanding your user is to conduct interviews, surveys, and user/AB tests, or just process changes more quickly and more often. Though these sound like simple solutions, it’s possible to write a book about the value of each of these techniques. If you’re interested in learning more about these practices, I personally love About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design from Alan Cooper, which nicely gathers all the important findings related to these approaches in one place. For a more project-oriented look, check out The Elements of User Experience from Jesse James Garrett.

But the most important thing in user-centric design is, of course, the user. The user must be at the heart of the project right from the very beginning. Every involved person or stakeholder must understand and agree on who the target persona is and what their needs are. That way, if the discussion starts to get off-track or the project veers off-course, you can go back to your persona definition and discuss if this suggested feature or workflow would really deliver any value to the user.

Once you’re in touch with your customers and their users, you understand much more about what end users need, what their pain points are, and how your solution can help them with their day-to-day activities. Based on that, you can define a precise persona which helps you with figuring out workflows for real use cases—instead of preparing dashboards for everyone and everything. It won’t be long before you start seeing positive results, both in terms of user happiness and customer success, by becoming a more user-centric company.

Written by GoodData Author  | 

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