Chris Hawkins UX Consulting is a service which creates success for customers using applications, websites, and mobile devices. We understand the best practices that ensure a great "user experience" - something your grandma might call "User friendly."
User-centered design, which gets you to a successful user experience - involves 4 basic processes and activities:
1. User research - which at the heart is about observation "behavior" not just listening to "talk" - important distinction!
-- One-one interviews with 3-5 of your target customers, to provide data from which to design. Patterns emerge. Creating "personas" comes from this, where you learn the users' goals and motivations, which informs design choices.
-- Usability "testing" which occurs in various stages of the cycle. Testing starts early with prototypes and mockups, and continues through the cycle to the end or at stages where you wish to see if the design works, before full blown development, which saves time and money in the long run.
2. Interaction modeling - flow charts to understand the best way people want to move through the application or site, after research This assists in creating the best page layouts to further test.
3. Conceptual designs, layout and information design - early designs which allow us to test theories about how the target audience views and searches for information. How objects and ideas are grouped is key, and what draws users to take the action you want.
4. Final design specs - with visuals added. Visual design should be the last, not the first, thing you do. It's the biggest mistake made in immature organizations. Being pretty is not what creates good design - it's the combination of good interaction modeling and then visuals that support the flows and interactions through highlighting and distinguishing further objects like buttons, words and formats. "Form follows Function" is my motto around visual design - It works! First understand what people need and want, in the interactive modeling, then add color later.
If you are interested in making your apps and sites user-friendly, so even Grandma or your child can use it (or even YOU!) - please contact Chris Hawkins UX Consulting. I can give a better idea about where we might help you the most, depending on your particular project.