Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Understanding Users

This step explains core principles of UX design in the context of targeted research.
It’s important to realize that there is an element of design in just about everything consumers use. Don Norman in his book, The Design of Everyday Things, discusses an example of how a backward teapot is absurd to highlight that even the most common of products have design elements in them. Although the teapot might be attractive, shiny, and desirable, or even a collector’s item, it still has features and functionality that simply are wrong for the user. It doesn’t matter how good it visually appears if it doesn’t work. You could say that humans have always used design to make their life simpler known as ergonomics. The main point is that we use design to make our lives easier and get things done.
UX Design is the amplification of this concept and thought process in the digital world.
When it comes to user experience, identifying user needs can be complex especially when it involves more than one audience. However, it’s an important process and should be done through targeted research. It involves being able to empathize with the audience based on the different demographic and segment preferences.
Usability testing is a way to see how easy it is to use a product by testing it with representative users. Typically, users are asked to complete tasks, while they are being observed, to see if they encounter problems or experience confusion. The goal is to identify problems, and determine the user’s satisfaction with the product. Usability testing can help determine problems before a product is released, so that changes can be made before launch.
It’s better to make design decisions based on user behavior data rather than psychological profile or persona. In other words, what common behaviors have you observed? Which pages do users spend more time on? Where do they abandon most? What is the average spend during peak periods? This is objective rather than subjective data. There are many advantages for businesses to placing users at the center of design.
User experience design involves multiple different factors and overlaps with many other disciplines, and that’s why it’s often not easy to get right. Aside from the physical elements like digital assets, text, video, etc., and information architecture, there are many overlapping areas such as visual design, interaction design, and more. A number of these depend on human elements such as user expectation and goals. And so you can see why this requires careful understanding to get right. The core principles of UX design are firstly, research based on the users and especially their usage of the product or service. Second, focus on achieving the user’s goals, solving the problems that they have. Thirdly, focus on the details. Go deep into the user experience.
Also, because you’re working with finite resources, prioritize and do the things which will have the biggest impact on the end goals. Finally, always validate the design with your users before building.

When it comes to UX, identifying user needs can be complex, especially when it involves more than one audience. This step explains core principles of UX design in the context of targeted research.


If you have a website, what do you know about your visitors? Is it a good idea to make changes to a website to suit their needs?

Please submit your answer in the comment section below to get feedback from other learners.

This article is from the free online

Getting Started with Digital Marketing

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now