User-Centered Design

What Does User-Centered Design Mean?

User-centered design is a term used to talk about processes that address user characteristics, habits or preferences in the design of a product. In a sense, user-centered design is what it sounds like – people design the product around the user's needs, rather than making the user conform to the design.


Techopedia Explains User-Centered Design

Some of the confusion around user-centered design hangs on the perhaps more popular term “user experience.” User experience (UX) has become a buzzword in IT to talk about improving how the user experiences software or other products. Many people talk about user-centered design and user experience interchangeably, but others point out that the user-centered design is more of the concept plan and the user experience, an improved or customized user experience, is the result. However, many IT professionals use the term “user experience” as a process term, which creates some lack of clarity.

User-centered design is really about anticipating the users' needs. It can be applied to any product, but in IT there is a big emphasis on intuitive graphic user interfaces and other tools that are user friendly and easy for end users to master.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…