Consulting Services

User profiles and task analysis

Develop profiles of who the typical users of a system or website are, and what their most common and critical tasks are.

Information architecture

Inventory and categorize content and develop categorization structures, site maps and navigational structure. This can be validated with user card-sorts and testing of wireframe designs.

Conceptual model design and testing

Develop and test various conceptual models for information design and functioning. (Think of a "shopping cart" as an example.)

Early user testing/paper prototyping

Simple, fast testing of prototypes on small groups of users, either to validate conceptual model development, or get feedback on early system designs.

User interface development with Photoshop

Develop more high-fidelity visual designs for continued testing and presentation to engineering. Layers can be used to simulate some level of interactivity without any programming.

User interface prototyping with Director and Visual Basic

Photoshop screens are cut up and animated using VB (if there are only standard controls, or if there is data to be used, or extensive menu testing is desired) or Director (faster development time). Either can be used for usability testing or to discuss with engineering.

Full HTML prototypes

Sites and applications can be prototyped for usability testing and specification development. HTML code can be migrated to production by replacing hard-coded test values with database calls.

Development of detailed UI design documents and style guides

Once designs are validated for usability and technical feasibility, they are described in full detail in a UI Design Document. This document typically accompanies, or is contained in, a functional spec and describes visual elements and system behavior. A general style guide can be developed for a site or application that provides future guidance to engineers and product managers.

Usability testing and test reporting

Usability testing can be either informal (a prototype, laptop, and the tester taking notes) or formal (add a video camera, second note taker, and final written report) - either way a surprisingly small number of users are needed to expose most usability problems. The goal is to iterate designs quickly, not produce linear feet of documentation.

Heurisitc review of existing applications or sites

This consists of an expert review of an application or web site to check for conformance to UI standards and for potential usability issues. This should give a good indication of what kind of changes would be needed by a full usability review.