User-centered design: What it is + 4 Steps

Products are used by people. People should be the center of designing any product. User-centered design (UCD) is an optimistic approach to creating new products.

The fundamental principle is that you gather inputs from users and incorporate your findings into product design with the help of tools such as a customer journey map.

What is User-centered design?

User-centered design (UCD) is a collection of processes that focus on putting users at the center of product design and development. When a product team develops digital products, it takes into account the user’s requirements, objectives, and feedback. 

Satisfying users’ needs and wants becomes a priority, and every design decision is evaluated in the context of whether it delivers value to the users. The user-centered design gives you a way of adding an emotional impact to your products.

4 Steps for User-Centered Design

User-centered design approach can be explained in 4 Steps:

  • Analysis

We can analyze the data we receive as feedback from Users and work on it accordingly.

There are quite a few feedback tools available in the market e.g QuestionPro’s free survey tool is amongst the best there is. It allows you to create a survey and also collect unlimited responses for free. 

  • Design


Based on the feedback we gather the Design team can work on making the product as ‘human’ friendly as possible. Various teams are involved in this process including the UI/UX, Marketing.

Mapping your customer journey is critical to creating in this process. A user journey map is an excellent tool for UX designers because it visualizes how a user interacts with a product and allows designers to see a product from a user’s point of view. 

If you like reading about customer journey mapping you might find it interesting learning about the customer journey.


  • Evaluation

Evaluation is not just a step in the process, it is however a constant activity that happens in the process. It is recommended to evaluate design decisions through usability testing with actual users. 

  • Implementation

After a thorough evaluation, it’s time to put your feedback into implementation. All the work done in collecting feedback and evaluating it comes to fruition in this process. The design team along with the Product team works towards the Implementation of the UCD.

Importance of user-centered design

Implementing this kind of design allows you to better understand your end customers and really meet their needs, other benefits of implementing this methodology are. 

Empathy-based concepts such as user’s thoughts, feelings, and frustrations take a central stage in user-centered design. Product designers should be able to turn empathy-based concepts into systematic requirements such as the user’s goals and interaction habits—something that a whole team can use to build a product.

To sum up the importance of user-centered design, a famous quote by Frank Chimero:  “People ignore design that ignores people”.

At QuestionPro CX we offer you the best tools to monitor the customer journey in your organization. Contact us! We would love to team up with you to help you achieve better customer experiences!


Author: Joshua Alhat