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Dora the Explorer!! Build your product for Dora the Explorer!!! Relax, let me explain. I think?

Users are the foundation of a product, and as a building, there is no structure without the foundation. They are our bosses, and I don’t mean our physical bosses (our office supervisors). When the user doesn’t enjoy the product, the users cease to exist and when a user doesn’t exist, the product is useless and when the product is useless… well you get the drift.

When building a product, it is important to note that different users will be compelled to use your product due to different reasons (boredom, referral, word of mouth, etc) and also use your product to achieve different goals (to purchase something, compare prices, connect with a friend, etc). This awareness helps you to be able to be user-centred to satisfy all kinds of users. Speaking of user-centred, there are some basic things that we need to understand about User Experience (UX) design before we proceed to the main dish.

User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. A UX Designer is someone who asks questions like ‘Is this button too small?’, ‘Is this text too big?’, ‘Should the menu button be here? Is it easily accessible?’ and similar questions. So UX Design is the process of making a product as usable as possible for a user.

There are many methods the UX Designers use to make sure a product is usable. These methods are called ‘UX Frameworks’. There are a lot of UX frameworks that have been created, but over time they tend to become obsolete due to the sharp rise in technology. Any of these UX frameworks can be used to build different products and there is no ‘best’ amongst them. One of the most common frameworks is ‘User-centered Design’, which we are going to talk about.

“There is no substitute for personally watching and listening to real people.” — Larry Page – Co-founder, Google

The user-centred design framework puts the user front and centre. Focusing on the user means considering their story, emotions, and the insights you’ve gathered about them. Following this framework helps us build products people actually want to use. To keep our focus on the user, the user-centred design process has four steps:

  • Understand
  • Specify
  • Design
  • Evaluate

First, understand how the user experiences the product or similar products. Really understanding the end-user requires a lot of research. Next, specify the end user’s needs. Based on your research, you’ll narrow down which end-user problem is the most important to solve. Then, design solutions to the end user’s problem. This is where you’ll come up with ideas for what the product might look like and actually start building the product. Finally, evaluate your design against your end user’s needs. Does your design solve the end user’s problem? You’ll find out here, and you’ll also do it by testing your product with real people.

So basically, using the User-centred design framework enables you to focus totally on your users because they are our bosses, and I don’t mean our physical bosses…..wait we've done this before right? Yikes. I’m sure you get my drift nonetheless.

Now we’re done with some basic things which we needed to understand about User Experience (UX), we can now talk about the 4 types of users we consider when building a product.

  1. Mr Informed

Say hello to Mr Informed, he knows what he wants and he wants what he knows (it sounded better in my head). He doesn’t spend much time using your product and he has a clear goal; to get what he came for and leave. For example, if Mr Informed wants to buy a pair of trousers on an e-commerce site, he will log in and search for a pair of trousers and then he will purchase the trouser and proceed to checkout. Mr Informed is a user that is very simple and straight to the point.

When building a product for Mr Informed, the first thing on your mind should be simplicity. Your product should be easy to use and navigate. You should have it at the back of your mind that Mr Informed just wants to access your product and leave as quickly as possible and you should adapt to that by creating a product that supports quick and seamless usage.

2. Window Shopper

A Window Shopper doesn’t know what he wants and he doesn't want what he knows (it sounded better on paper). A Window Shopper is the total opposite of Mr Informed. He spends a lot of time using your product and doesn’t have a clear goal. A typical example of a Window Shopper is someone who enters a mall and goes around checking out different products and their prices. Although there is no aim of buying anything in particular, a Window Shopper can end up buying some things he/she really likes.

When building a product, you should consider features that will keep a user glued to your product (product description in an e-commerce store, twitter spaces, air-conditioned stores, etc) as these will help a window shopper to feel at home.

3. Mrs Boomerang

Did you know the oldest boomerang found was in Olazowa Cave in Poland and it was made out of a Mammoth tusk which has been dated to be about 30,000 years old? Did you also know that I’m trying so hard not to stray off-topic?

Mrs Boomerang is a ‘returned user’. Basically, she is someone who has used your product before and knows what she wants but couldn’t achieve the goal due to certain factors (funds, logistics, etc). She is a user who now has the facilities to achieve her goal and is now ready to do so. For example, someone who just logged in to an e-commerce store and goes straight to her cart which contains items that she picked on a previous visit.

To build a product for Mrs Boomerang, your product should have features that will make a returning user not feel like a first time user. Features like Cart, Saved Items, Likes, Recently viewed are examples of such features.

Let’s make Mrs Boomerang comfortable people!

4. Dora the Explorer

The moment you’ve been waiting for. Welcome to the Lacandon Jungle and your host for today is Dora the Explorer!

Dora the Explorer is a user that knows why she is using your product and has a mission. But unlike Mr Informed, Dora the Explorer is willing to spend more time on your platform to make sure there aren’t other better and cheaper options she can get. A good example is someone who wants to buy a cap but is willing to spend extra time exploring almost all the caps she can find. She compares metrics like price, material, colour, features and more to get the very best she can get from her budget.

To build a good product for Dora the Explorer, features that promote ‘exploration’ (compare items, sorting, etc) and more should be considered while building your product!

Dora the Explorer!! Build your product for Dora the Explorer!!! Relax, I have now explained. I think?

4 TYPES OF USERS TO CONSIDER WHILE BUILDING A PRODUCT was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.