1. Understand users and their needs – Copy 1

Why it’s important

The contexts and needs of actual users—including students, staff, and technical users—must be included in the design process from the beginning to inform design, technical, and support decisions. Design and test solutions with users to make sure you’re solving the right problems in the right ways.

What to consider

    • Who are your primary users?
    • What needs will be met with your solution?
    • Which tasks are most complex or challenging for users?
    • In what contexts will your solution be used (e.g. as part of a longer task flow across multiple systems; across several devices or primarily on mobile devices; in their office or out in the field)?
    • How often are you testing with real people? Which user research methods would be most effective?
    • What are key observations or findings? How are they documented and communicated?

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It can be daunting to start putting this principle into practice. The Center for User Experience is here to help to better understand and take action on the needs of users.

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