Applying User-centred Design to Modern Software Products

Design Thinking for Innovation

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TOPIC:  Applying user-centred design to modern software products


This report gives us a view about the importance and need of user centred design and how it is applied to modern software products. Today, Design process is an interesting and important aspect for any business related product. The term human centred is used rather than user centred by the ISO. It is an approach by applying human factors and techniques to design and develop a system that make them interactive and Improved productivity, increased accessibility can be gained using user centred design process. (ISO 9241).

 Principles of User Centred design:

Ensure the designers and project knows what does the user needs or want to achieve in the project.

Ensure the designers knowhow the system should fit into the lives of the users.

Usability must be demonstrated within the design team.

Have a team which is flexible and understands all the aspects of the users (Bevan, N. (2012)).

                                                                     Fig. 1

In ISO 13407 the concept ‘goal’ is not defined whereas in ISO 9241, it is defined in the User centred design process.


Technology has been emerging rapidly in today’s world in different businesses, for a product to be launched, design is the first approach to get on.

A set of techniques, procedures and processes that places the user at the centre of the development process in a meaningful, appropriate and rigorous ways is called User Centred Design process. The main goal is to satisfy users via producing usable and understandable products that meet their needs and interests in addition to their goals, context of use, abilities and limitations (Dina, S. (2016)).

User centred design is a process of continual improvement which involves four different phases i.e. Analysis, design, implementation and deployment phase.

                                                                Fig. 2

Analysis is the first phase for the launch of any new software system where it ensures that all the user and business requirements are taken into consideration, user needs and goals are defined during this phase which is the real target of User centred design. User and business requirements must be ensured during system design in the design phase. The design must be evaluated against user’s requirements which helps to check how the design is performing during implementation phase and the system is deployed after the implementation phase (Rouke, P. (2017)).


UCD for Mobile Systems

Having a right approach to the mobile user experience brings success not just having a mobile website (Hudson, n.d.). Designers should consider that mobile platforms are different from desktop platforms.

Understanding user needs is important for launching a mobile system, addressing user needs and goals should be focused during user centred design for mobile systems. The main step addressing user needs is by creating user personas where the designer gets the information about the user goals and where, when does the user use the product. Modelling Language for interaction as Conversation (MoLIC) is also an alternative which helps the development of interaction models. All interaction paths can be represented, including alternative paths for the user to reach the same goal during MoLIC (Lopes et al., 2018).


                                                              Fig. 3

Information gathered from user personas helps us building user journey mapping which explains the user goals (Tony, H. (2016)). Based on user goals and needs, prototyping should be done. There are many prototyping tools but paper prototyping is best practice which helps to quickly visualize and test various ideas when a team needs to explore variety concepts (Babich, N. (2017)). Paper prototyping can be used at every step of design process. After creating a specific paper prototype, it should be tested by users of different groups. Design should be iterated rapidly after getting the feedback from the users. Integrated user centred design ensures that the product is specifically built for the users and remain adaptable to changes in project objective goals (Tony, H. (2016)).

UCD for Kiosk System

A machine which is small, stand-alone booth typically which is placed in high traffic areas are called kiosk systems. It is mainly used for business purposes which provides information on entertainment, commerce and variety of other topics (Orencia, A. (2017)). Today kiosk systems are widely used in airports, cinema halls, supermarkets and in other business properties. Some of them are interactive kiosks like ticket vending machines, self-service kiosk like check-in and security checks in airport, and restaurants etc. Designing a kiosk for any business needs to focus on what can be offered on kiosk system. Automatic Teller Machine is the most used kiosk system by public. Users using ATM kiosk system would like to view their account balance, withdraw cash and deposit cash and many other services provided.


                                              Fig. 4

First phase during the design will be aimed at understanding, analysing the main characteristics of the system and task analysis should be run with the aim of evaluating the hierarchical sequence of actions that are required to the users to access the ATM services. During the analysis task users should be asked a set of actions to perform what service they would, it should be recorded how they access the ATM and use its services (Francesco. (2011)).  Prototype should be created with the services which can be offered by the ATM. Feedback from the users should be considered and must be applied to the design process.


Brenda Laurel quoted “Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it”, yes its true. The early feedback from the users during design phase within user centred design process helps the team to find a solution to user needs and to the businesses. 

As the users increase, business system products should also cope with the user needs as the business grows. If a particular mobile system meets its user needs, their business will have growth and increases their sales, which will also boost the business competitiveness and can also gain insight which will lead to introduce new services.


Earthy, J., Jones, B. S., & Bevan, N. (2012). ISO Standards for User-Centered Design and the Specification of Usability. Usability in Government Systems, 267-283. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-391063-9.00049-39241, I. Retrieved from

school, j. (2018). Innovation and Human-Centered Design Executive Courses | Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Retrieved from

Rouke, P. (2017). What is User Centred Design? A guide to the processes involved | PRWD. Retrieved from

Hudson, W. What is User Centered Design?. Retrieved from

Tony, H. (2016). Essential Principles For User-Centered Mobile Design | Clearbridge Mobile. Retrieved from

Babich, N. (2017). The Magic of Paper Prototyping – UX Planet. Retrieved from

Lopes, A., Valentim, N., Moraes, B., Zilse, R. and Conte, T. (2018). Applying user-centered techniques to analyze and design a mobile application. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, [online] 6(1). Available at:

Orencia, A. (2017). What is a Kiosk? – Definition, Examples, and More. Retrieved from

Camilli, Marco & Dibitonto, Massimiliano & Vona, Alessandro & Maria Medaglia, Carlo & Di Nocera, Francesco. (2011). User-centered design approach for interactive kiosks: Evaluation and redesign of an automatic teller machine. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. 85-91. 10.1145/2037296.2037319.

Dina Salah, Richard Paige, Paul Cairns. Integrating Agile Development Processes and User Centred Design- A Place for Usability Maturity Models?. Stefan Sauer; Cristian Bogdan; Peter Forbrig; Regina Bernhaupt; Marco Winckler. 5th International Conference on Human-Centred Software Engineering (HCSE), Sep 2014, Paderborn, Germany. Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS-8742, pp.108-125, 2014, Human-Centered Software Engineering. .

Image Refernces

Fig 1:

Vaezipour, A. (2017). User centered design approach. Retrieved from

Fig 2:

school, j. (2018). Innovation and Human-Centered Design Executive Courses | Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Retrieved from

Fig 3:

Design, I. (2017). A User-Centred Approach to Mobile Design and a 5 Stage Process for You to Use. Retrieved from

Fig 4:

Camilli, Marco & Dibitonto, Massimiliano & Vona, Alessandro & Maria Medaglia, Carlo & Di Nocera, Francesco. (2011). User-centered design approach for interactive kiosks: Evaluation and redesign of an automatic teller machine. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. 85-91. 10.1145/2037296.2037319.

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