The ideal software development process balances the client’s business needs and the idea of how the end customer will use the software. Keeping the latter in mind helps to develop software that not only looks good on the market but also provides value for the users in the most convenient way!
Why think about your end-user? The end user is an individual or a company that will be operating the product. Unless the company is developing custom software for internal use, it is common that the end user doesn’t possess the technical knowledge of how the product is operating and therefore needs it to operate flawlessly and in an understandable manner.
To meet your end-user needs, first of all, you have to understand what problem your product will be solving or what necessities it will be fulfilling. In order to define and understand your future user, you need to dive deeply into research in existing products and solutions, market condition, user profiles, etc.
Before you start the process of software development it is crucial to identify the key elements of your end-user behavior, what motivates them, what are they looking for.
Know your audience
The key demographics will help you get the primary idea of what are your users like and how to better adapt software features to their needs. For example, if your target audience consists purely of women, your messaging, aesthetics, functionality will be different from if you were targeting a group consisting only of men.
The important elements you might want to consider are:
- Geographic – residential address, location, region - (this will define economic factors that affect buying potential)
- Demographic/socioeconomic segmentation – gender, age, income, occupation, socio-economic status, educational-level, family status, marital status - (this will define behavior)
- Psychographic – attitudes, values, beliefs, interests and lifestyles - (this will define decision-making process)
Once you’ve established who your end-users are, we next have to consider learning about what motivates and moves users, what do they feel while using the software, and how are they making their decisions. For example, think about this - if your product is being purchased would it be a spontaneous decision or a weighted informed one?
Software development is not limited to programming and technical attributes, it also includes understanding human emotions and behavior to make sure that the product goes along with the end-user, not against them.
Before you dive in the product development stage dedicate some time to deeply research and understand your target market. Knowing your competition will give you an advantage in developing the features that they lack, setting competitive pricing and optimizing the product to the market needs.
Market research creates a solid base for understanding the product and its chances to succeed in the current market conditions. It also helps you identify the potential challenges that you might face when launching the product and find solutions on how to overcome them while growing the product.
While the technical features of the software can vary, there are certain general guidelines that it needs to follow to be user-friendly. To make sure the software is successful software engineers need to keep user experience in mind and make sure the product satisfies the user-friendly requirements. The idea is to make the product as easy to use and make the navigation time between the user and their goal as short as possible.
Keep it simple. From the installation to interacting with your software, everything needs to simple and well documented. Clean and minimalistic designs become the distinctive feature of the most popular applications and software solutions as they make it easier to use the product and provide clear navigation between its features.
Whether you like it or not, your product will get judged by its cover so it’s important to make a good first impression with its looks. Of course, you cannot judge the quality of software by the way it looks, but it most certainly adds points to the friendly user experience.
The development of graphic user interface is important to avoid users having problems with your software. A well designed GUI can sometimes compensate for small flaws in software, but by no means can it replace good coding that defines the value of your product.
Just like installation and interacting, updating your software should be a no-brainer for the end-user, because they are more likely to skip updating process if they find it complicated, which could lead to problems with functionality. To avoid exposing your software to potential problems make sure the updating process is as simple as possible.
The goal of your software is to provide value to the end-user by completing its job without interfering with other programs or creating any roadblock for users. It should be completing the task better than the previous version, saving time for the user and helping them to solve their problems efficiently.
Uninstalling your software should be just as easy as installing it. Without an easy way to do it software becomes a burden and can complicate the performance of devices, which is not user-friendly. As much as you might not want your product to be uninstalled, this process should be fast and clear for the end-user.
Last but not least, our final point to cover is that your software needs a good support system. You can develop the best and most comprehensible software ever, but there always will be questions from the end-user and if something goes wrong they should be able to contact and receive support in a fast and timely manner.
Knowing your end-user and applying these principles creates a solid base for the development of a successful software product. These criteria are supposed to ease the process of turning your idea into a viable product that can wow the market.
At Trio, we always help our clients to see their software from the end-user point to view to make sure it has all the necessary features to make using it simple and pleasant. If you have an idea for a mobile or web application that you would like to discuss, our development specialist here will be happy to help you. Tell us about your project and let’s talk!