Consulting Services

The chief concern of a UI designer is not how the interface looks or feels--that's the important domain of visual design.

User interface design is all about how it works. And how it works depends utterly on what tasks the users need to accomplish.

Discovery & Evaluation
Desktop software companies typically release versioned software, announcing incremental improvements each version. Web sites seem to be in perpetual BETA, and occasionally sprout new features, right under the mouse of the users.

Well, the truth is, software improves incrementally. Versioned software releases are slices in time; behind the scenes, software is always in refinement and revision, evolving through the efforts of many--in ways that resemble organic.

Without a plan, however, the continually evolving interface begins to lose sense of purpose, or adopt numerous competing purposes.

In order to deliver solutions that take advantage of business intelligence and opportunities, a discovery phase will bring key stakeholders to the table to clarify, negotiate, and plan an appropriate path forward for creating or refining existing products and services.

Deliverables can include:
Discovery and requirements documents
Heuristic reviews
User research reviews
Comparative and competitive product reviews

User Research
Discovering how your users work--what they really do (not just what they say they do)--is utterly essential to designing products with a reasonable expectation of built-in market traction.

Observations of work flows, extensive interviews and task analyses with users and potential users can help the entire development team better understand who the customers are, what they want, and the tasks and general cases for which your product or service delivers value to the user.

Usability evaluations, user research, and usability tests can rapidly identify where and why user interfaces succeed--and where and why they don't. Formal reports suggest practical, prioritized courses of action to simplify and improve the overall user experience, and can provide a solid foundation for planning feature additions or larger revision efforts.

Deliverables can include:
User ethnography and persona development
Task flow and work flow analyses and illustrations
Scenario development
User testing plans, tests and reports

Interface & Interaction Design
User interfaces are, first and foremost, social artifacts. They represent the choices, logic, and thought processes of the teams who designed and specified them. They represent a sequence of tasks that users seek to complete, or experiences they want to have.

Consequently, user-focused interface design is a highly collaborative process and, often, the crossroads between the users of the product, and the product's management, marketing and engineering teams.

As a designer I translate the specified technical requirements and business goals, the stakeholders' visions and voices, and users' tasks and work flow into specific visual proposals for solutions. These proposals are called wireframes, and they are the result of a creative and visual/analytical process that applies principles of effective information and interaction design to a particular set of problems. The process is a guided collaboration to uncover, clarify and simplify highly complex systems so that they can be built with maximum efficiency. As the wireframes develop, they become the blueprints for the application's user-facing architecture for both visual design and application layer engineering teams.

Deliverables can include:
User flow diagrams
Paper-based prototypes
Interactive, low-fidelity prototypes
Interface test plans, user validations and test reports