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INTRODUCTION

 

Hi! My name is Aparna and I'm a website User Interface Designer/Information Architect in Mumbai, India. I am currently in the US on project work. I have over 12+ years of experience enhancing the user experience for major high traffic, e-commerce and International websites. My formal education is in Commerce and I have experience in the area of structuring design for the digital workspace.

I am fascinated with Human Factors, or the study of how humans behave physically and psychologically in relation to particular environments, products, or services. Understanding Human Factors allows for the creation of user-centric designs or designs that take into consideration the user. When an environment, product, or service has a user-centric design; this generally goes un-noticed. However, when you experience a bad design, it generally causes confusion, frustration or even anger.

The study of Human Factors in association with computers is called: Human-Computer Interaction. As with Human Factors, Understanding Human-Computer Interaction allows for the creation of user-centric designs by a User Interface Designer. This is done by the process of Information Architecture. A good user-centric design is generally phrased as "user friendly" which has spawned a new term in the corporate world known as "user Experience." All of this equates to designing websites that are fast, easy to use and understand which ultimately allows the users to achieve their goal.

Benefits of user-centric Designs

There are many benefits to a good user-centric design, but from a cost perspective, these are some of the most important.

  •  Decrease in technical and customer support

  •  Increase in sales

  •  Easier to maintain

  •  Increase Customer Stickiness - Users will stay
     on the site longer if it is "user friendly."

  •  Increase in return customers and customer loyalty
Role of an Information Architect  
Understand business and user goals of the project
Conduct Heuristic Analysis, competitive audits
Analyze the site structure of Flagship - Taxonomy
Conducting user research, usability testing
Developing user personas and scenarios
Documenting detailed user experience
Developing prototypes
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