by Erik Loehfelm,

An interesting exercise in User-Centered Design (UCD) is to place yourself as a target for an application that you would use. Identify a want or need that you would consider valuable that is not currently met by apps that you own. Capture your ideas but stay focused on one need. For example: I need to study the sounds of bird songs for a biology exam. This simple idea should start to trigger interesting visuals in your mind. Do you see yourself studying while walking? Are you sitting in the library? Can you include others in the study effort? Do I see a visual of the bird along with the audio of the bird’s song? Can I answer audibly? Do I have to choose from a list of choices?

By putting yourself in the role of a user with a topic that interests you, you will begin to understand the process involved in building empathy for a user’s situation and the potential solutions.