We offer user interface design and usability evaluation
services to assist clients who may be planning
a new release, migrating to an eBusiness model, developing
an application for the marketplace, or planning to launch
a website. We tailor our service
offerings to meet your development cycle, schedule,
User Interface Design
User-centered design (UCD) is a product design approach
that results in an outstanding level of usability. It recognizes
that end-users are crucial
to the success of software initiatives. It values the input
of project stakeholders while avoiding the temptation to
“design by committee”. UCD is related to usage-centered
design, task-centered design, usability engineering, participatory
design, and iterative design. The foundation of these approaches
is: test designs early and often
with real (or imaginary!) end-users by iterating through
a design-test-refine cycle.
At Design | Strategy Inc our design experts lead the user
interface design phases. We work closely with your team
to determine end-user requirements and tailor a UCD approach
to fit your development cycle, schedule, and budget.
As integrated members of your team, our user interface
- Profile end-users, tasks, and environments
- Identify usability problems in your existing products
- Establish design requirements
- Seek input from your project stakeholders
- Iteratively design and test the high-level user interface
- Generate detailed user interface design specifications
- Create and integrate artwork, visual, and audio material
- Conduct usability tests
with end-users of emerging designs and prototypes
- Transfer skills to your team through coaching
and by conducting collaborative
Usability Test with End-Users
Make informed design decisions! A usability test generates
relevant and reliable data about the usability of your product.
A usability test is conducted with real
end-users. The number of end-users depends on the
number of user classes and the scope of the test. About
8 end-users per user class will reveal nearly all usability
problems and provide the breadth and depth of data to make
design decisions with confidence.
When combined with an expert
usability evaluation, a usability test conducted with
as few as 4 end-users will reveal a wide-range of usability
problems at a reduced cost.
Our experts prepare tasks for end-users to conduct. Participants
who meet qualifying criteria are recruited and scheduled.
We encourage your team to observe the tests; end-users struggling
with poor designs send an informative and powerful message!
At each session, a skilled facilitator observes, listens,
uncovers problems, and asks questions without interfering
in the test. An assistant interprets what is heard and observed
and makes detailed notes during the test. At the conclusion
of the tests, our experts hold a debrief meeting with your
team to discuss the most severe problems and potential solutions.
We also deliver a succinct report that identifies usability
problems and rates their severity.
Expert Usability Evaluation
An expert usability evaluation draws on established guidelines
and professional expertise
to uncover usability defects in your product. Our experts
work through a set of user tasks to identify the source
and severity of usability problems. Findings from an expert
usability evaluation will provide practical guidance for
This method can often be conducted quickly and cost-effectively.
But unlike a usability test,
end-users are not involved in an expert evaluation. Therefore,
caution is extended to our clients in the decision to use
this method exclusively.
In fact, it is widely held that conducting expert usability
evaluations as well as usability tests with end-users is
a cost-effective approach to discover a wide-range of usability
problems. How? We can reduce the scope of each method and
take advantage of the complimentary findings that are generated.
Collaborative Usability Inspection
Similar in concept to a “code inspection”,
a collaborative usability inspection is conducted as a peer-review
of a design. End-users, developers, designers, and other
stakeholders are led by our usability experts through a
carefully planned review of a design proposal. The objective
is to uncover usability problems and identify potential
solutions early in the design phase. Collaborative usability
inspections open up the design shop and invite contributions
from all project stakeholders to achieve early buy-in. Your
cross-functional teams also benefit from take-home insight
about user-centered design.
Information Architecture and Content Structuring
The successful delivery of your message is influenced
by the structure of its content and its position within
a larger information architecture. Our usability experts
work with your content authors to move content from linear
prose into crisp, stand-alone, informative segments. We
identify meaningful relationships among the segments and
build a content structure that makes sense to your audience.
The information architecture is designed to support different
routes of access to the knowledge, reflecting the diversity
of your audience. It enables people to surface the right
information at the right time.
Coaching and Training
Our objective is always to leave your cross-functional
team with take-home insight
about user-centred design. Knowledge transfer is a natural
result of our work as integrated members of your team: Software
architects and developers learn to view their work through
the end-user lens, giving them a perspective to make high-impact
user interface design decisions and instilling a customer-focused
Project managers know the importance of investing in their
human resources talent. They count on “exceptional
designers” among their software architects and developers.
We will tailor a user interface design engagement to include
extended coaching and skills transfer opportunities.
Design | Strategy Inc also offers on site training in the
form of workshops or less formal “brown bag lunches”.
Participants benefit from “in the trenches”
experience supported by a principled and academic foundation.
All of our training is tailored to reflect your organization’s