At UX Labs, we are passionate about the user-centered design (UCD) process and the importance of conducting thorough user research. This approach is deeply ingrained in our team culture, and we believe that it leads to the best possible outcomes and the most satisfied users. We have worked on countless projects with progressive, open-minded, and experimental clients – like Careem, Syarah and others – who fully embrace a user-centered approach, and we have seen firsthand the benefits of this methodology.
The Importance of UCD Within Our Team Culture
At our agency, we are committed to applying the best practices of UCD in all of our projects. This approach is not just something we do for our clients, but something that is deeply ingrained in our team culture. We believe that user research is essential for understanding the needs and wants of our users, and that a user-centered design process leads to the best possible outcomes.
That being said, we also understand that not all clients and decision makers may be as open to this approach. Some may be hesitant due to preconceived notions or a lack of understanding, while others may simply have a more traditional mindset when it comes to design. It can be disappointing for us when we have to deal with an imperfect plan that doesn’t fully embrace a user-centered approach, but we believe that it’s important to find a balance between our UX mindset and the traditional mindset of our clients.
Striving for a Diplomatic and Inclusive Approach
Our mission is to increase UX/UCD awareness in the Middle East, and we believe that the best way to do this is through a diplomatic and inclusive approach. Rather than being overly aggressive in our consultations and only working with those who are already very user-centered, we try to find a middle ground with clients who may be on different parts of the spectrum, from very traditional to very user-centered.
We recognize that it can be challenging to introduce clients to a user-centered approach, especially if they are used to a more traditional design process. That’s why we are willing to make compromises and create more applicable plans that fit their specific contexts. By doing so, we hope to show even the most traditional clients the benefits of incorporating user research and a user-centered approach into their product design.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we are willing to compromise on the integrity of our methodology or the importance of user research. Far from it! We are fully committed to applying the best practices of UCD in all of our projects, and we have a proven track record of delivering successful projects for our clients. However, we also understand that it can be a process to get clients on board with a more unconventional approach, and we are willing to take the time to educate them and demonstrate the value of our methodology.
The Value of a Tolerant and Adaptable Approach
We see these adaptations as an opportunity to introduce clients to the value of a user-centered approach in a way that is more palatable to them. It’s like offering a “free trial” of sorts, where clients can see the benefits of our approach without feeling like they are fully committing to it. And we believe that this tolerant and adaptable approach is key to building trust and fostering long-term relationships with our clients.
By showing that we are willing to meet them halfway and take their needs and concerns into consideration, we hope to demonstrate the value of our methodology and help more clients see the benefits of a user-centered approach.
At the end of the day, to be practicing what we preach we are expected to empathize with our clients the same way we empathize with our users!