What can my organization do to develop more usable products?

Dr. Jasper van Kuijk is a post-doc researcher at the TU Delft studying user centered product development practice. He is an expert on usability and how it affects not just the people using the products, but the industry that develops and markets those products.

At VanBerlo, identifying how important these factors are not only for our business, but for our client’s business, we had the pleasure of inviting Jasper a few weeks back as a guest lecturer for our team at our Eindhoven offices.

It is important to remember that better usability does NOT increase purchase intent but it DOES play an important role on the user experience, which can affect whether people buy your products again and whether they will recommend them to other potential customers.

During his doctorate research, Jasper identified 4 main drivers which ensure whether or not your organization is able to develop usable products by following a user-centered design approach. These are:

  1. User centered design proficiency
    How good is your organization’s user centered design process? How well do you know your methods? Do you have enough resources (money/time) to implement them?
  2. Shared knowledge
    Does your organization have enough knowledge about the user group, possible design solutions and usability issues, not just concentrated on the specialist, but throughout the organization?
  3. Design freedom
    How free are you to implement changes on the product? How much of it has been defined before hand and can’t be changed?
  4. Prioritizing usability
    How important is usability within y
    our organization? Are you allowed to focus resources on it or is it seen as a “nice-if-we-have-time”?

Jasper developed a collection of 25 recommendation cards on how to create more usable products, which go much deeper into how to achieve this in practice. You can find a digital copy of the cards HERE.

If you are further interested in the subject, a similar lecture to that which we enjoyed first hand, was given last year at the CHI Nederland conference, in which Jasper goes into more detail on how to ensure a better user design approach in practice:

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