A user centered-design process takes the user’s needs into account at every stage of the product life cycle. I say product because these techniques apply to web apps, mobile apps, desktop apps, or even physical products.

Why should you care about UX? There are 4 reasons why this stuff matters so much. This doesn’t include the obvious one which is the fact that paying attention to UX results in you building a product that’s awesome instead of one that people hate using. Hopefully that’s a given.

The reasons why you should learn more about UX are.

1. You’re probably doing some of this already

When you understand how it is that you do what you do, you become infinitely better at it. Like the fable about the centipede who when asked how it was that he walked couldn’t give an answer. But when he picked himself up and flexed each of his hundred legs, he danced the most beautiful dance in the world.

2. User-centered design is a process

Which means it’s practically scientific. It’s like taking the scientific method using analysis and measurement and applying it to humans and behavior and that’s fascinating in and of itself. This notion that designers are artistic geniuses with a penchant for cutting off their own ear. It’s nonsense. It’s science!

3. It’s not that hard

Especially for people who are already technically inclined. This stuff is not rocket science. Anyone can learn the basics of user testing and card sorting and writing scenarios and creating wireframes. It’s actually very straightforward.

4. It’s fun!

A career as a UX designer is interesting, it’s challenging, it pays well, and there’s a very low barrier to entry.