Why Developers Need a Contextual Framework to Truly Understand Their Users


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One aspect of UI / UX design that many developers have firmly internalized is the fluidity of design and development trends and their ability to change and change over time. Always on the cusp of something new, something more innovative and something much more understandable, design trends change when users do. User-centric design involves adapting to the end user and how their ideal interface will work.

There are, of course, unlimited strategies that allow developers to reach the user’s perspective while interacting with an interface, and within the many principles of design, a contextual framework is a tool that many have used and evolved. A contextual framework refers to the observation of people, or users, interacting and interacting with a design in their contextual environment.

It aims to capture first hand the values, preferences and perceptions of users, adopting an anthropological approach to user testing. However, with a myriad of ways to get the user’s perspective, then why are contextual queries a valuable asset for developers? Its value stems from its ability to discover different layers of research for a total focus lens that discovers the user through a clearer angle.

Contextual design and empathy

Frankly, a human-centered design without empathy would be lacking in the center to link the experience, but empathy can be strengthened when developers better understand and know their final audience. With contextual design, observation becomes a valuable tool that allows both developers and designers to fill in the gaps in the user’s perspective by observing their interactions within a design.

Related: How to build a better brand with a human-centered design

There are many questions that can be answered through this process, such as: How long does it take a user to complete a task? How long do they stay on a page? What paths do they take once a task is completed? Did he seem to have underlined cognitive friction or pain points while navigating these trajectories?

With a contextual framework to guide these tests, it can be as specific as a question or as broad as the developers need. However, one thing that remains the same is that this area of ‚Äč‚Äčtesting is designed to better understand the user, generate empathy, and use it as a tool for a much more vigorous user experience.

Context informs marketing strategies

As mentioned, innovation is always on the move as it takes new stages with changing ideas and trends. The best way to stay informed is to understand the core of your design: the user. Many marketing strategists use contextual design for marketing practices to understand the relationship between a consumer and a product. Developers use the same practices for data collection, and contextual design can also be useful when designing e-commerce websites.

Related: To really innovate, think like a user

This is important to ensure that a design can ensure successful conversions based on simply observing a participant in the contextual query. Within e-commerce platforms, it becomes a double advantage for both developers (understanding design constraints, contact points, etc.) and for stakeholders, such as companies and brands who want to better understand your consumer figuring out whether their digital interfaces or not. they are generating conversions. However, an additional assessment should be made of consumer feedback data on a separate actual product.

Refusing to stand still in a market and within digital design trends is essential, so the analysis of an audience must be concretized in context.

Context crosses all intersections for data collection

The context is, in itself, the collection of information, and with any product or interface that is being observed, it allows the discovery and understanding of the data. Not only does it provide a clearer understanding of a user’s thought process, but it also helps create research for data-driven design in the future. It allows designers to bring together design components for which users seemed to gravitate more and use them within other design elements in interfaces that adhere to methodologies with useful knowledge.

In addition, pain points and contact points can be modified and refined iteratively to get the best possible result in product design and development. Just guessing and predicting what your target audience will prefer is not enough. Sometimes they may not even know it until it is presented to them. Thus, demonstrating all the possibilities of a design can also open your perspective and discover preferences that can later be analyzed to improve usability.

Related: Implementation of good practices for web design with iterative methodologies

Integrate contextual design into your workflow

A contextual design perspective is not just for design agencies. It can be used in all industries to better evaluate your audience, your business, and your product / service. Through introspection, many areas for improvement can be discovered and implemented in your own workflow structure.

Break down the process

Before interacting with your target audience for contextual queries, either remotely or in person, the best approach is to divide the process into four principles: context, partnerships, interpretation, and focus.

The context allows observers to detect and evaluate groups in their everyday natural environment. Associations are based on the relationship between the observer and the observed. Interpretation ensures that all findings found answer the questions. The approach is intended for future refinement.

Understanding how to break down the consultation process allows for a more fluid contextual design process and a deeper understanding of each area that needs to be aligned with the appropriate procedures.

You’ve done a contextual query, and now what? With the results of your research, best practices are achieved when your data is used to improve your design or product based on the session. However, the use of this data through the iterative implementation of data-driven and actionable changes can only be fully realized when an iterative cycle is performed. This allows for careful implementation and prototyping.

Contextually designed interfaces are paramount, especially when carefully designed designs that aim to elevate a positive user experience. Design details are best understood when developers are able to look at the minds of their users and audience, getting their perspective, and ultimately this can be achieved in a contextual way.



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