User Experience Design

Here are some signs that you might need some UX help for your product:

  1. Screenshots of your product are conspicuously absent from your product literature.  (Do you think your customers don’t know you’re hiding something?)
  2. Your customer support and documentation costs are too high.  (Good UX is like a good joke.  If you have to explain it, it’s not that great)
  3. You find yourself saying “all the features are there.  But users just don’t know where to find them”
  4. Customers love the demo.  Your product has everything they need!  But then user adoption is disappointing once it gets rolled out on site.
  5. The customer stakeholders love your product.  Gartner gives it their blessing.  The IT team at the customer site gives it the thumbs up for integration.  Then the customer does a user acceptance test phase.  That’s when you crash and burn and they decide to go with some upstart vendor who has less features, but has a better UI.

Have you tried to find UX people to help but struggled because, let’s face it, your product is pretty darn complex. Most designers you talked to don’t understand it, and are frankly terrified of it.  And you don’t trust those artsy fartsy types anyways.

You’ve come to the right place.  We get you.

Here’s what we can do to help.

User Interface Refresh Package

Do you cringe inside when you give demos?  Does your UI look like it was made in 1997?  Do you need to bring it into the modern era?

This is what we do:

  • Redesign all the icons
  • Create a visual spec for the rest of the application that defines things like:
    • background colors
    • spacing and alignment between items (very important!)
    • the appearance of various states for UI elements: hover, select, disabled
    • the appearance of dialog boxes, toasts, alerts, and popups
    • the appearance of error handling and error messages
  • QA phase to work with the dev team to make sure that the spec is being followed (you’d be surprised how quickly it gets dropped)

User Interface Overhaul

Are your users getting lost in your application and calling customer support?  Are you moving from a thick client to a thin one and you want to get the UI right this time?  Are you integrating three different products together that need to work in a unified way?

This is what we do:

  • Create a Product Map of all your features the way they are currently accessed (With a product as complex as yours, trust us, you need this)
  • Create a proposed new Product Map with features reorganized
  • Create wireframes for key workflows or key product sets
  • User testing on top 10 task workflows (trust us, you need this)
  • Create a “pattern guide” which gives a detailed specification of the various UI “patterns” that are used in your application.  For example:  How the navigation model works, how and when to use dialog boxes, what are the various screen “types” that your product uses.
  • Create visual specification and/or provide CSS and HTML and work with development team to integrate the components into your new system.
  • QA phase to work with the development team to make sure that the visual design stays on track (trust us, you need this)

During this entire process we become part of your team.  We don’t disappear into our bat cave only to emerge 4 weeks later with designs in hand.  We meet twice a week with your Product Management and Development team to make sure we stay on track and aligned.  In order to be successful, you need a collaborator who will work with you, not a guru who will talk at you.

Case Study: Power PDF