EXPERIENCE

DESIGN THINKING

Design thinking is a crucial part of our strategy. Each project we undertake starts with research into our clients’ business goals and their users’ wants and needs. This leads us to solutions that are desirable, appealing, technically feasible and meet the requirements for business success

EXPERIENCES, NOT FEATURES

When designing user interfaces, ranging from simple landing pages to complex cross-platform applications, we tend to think in terms of ecosystems and experiences rather than designing features. Individual features may feel and sound cool in isolation, but the staple of a great product is the synergy of those features, how they work in tandem to provide the business or (and?) the user with the most frictionless and straightforward experience in performing their tasks and achieving their goals.

When designing user interfaces, ranging from simple landing pages to complex cross-platform applications, we tend to think in terms of ecosystems and experiences rather than designing features. Individual features may feel and sound cool in isolation, but the staple of a great product is the synergy of those features, how they work in tandem to provide the business or (and?) the user with the most frictionless and straightforward experience in performing their tasks and achieving their goals.

THE PROCESS

To make sure our design process stays on track and avoids major creative roadblocks, we employ a time-tested flexible methodology involving multiple stages and iterations:

  1. The first stage of the process is designed to gain an empathic understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. Depending on time constraints, a substantial amount of information is gathered to develop the best possible understanding of the users, their needs, and the problems that underlie the development of that particular product.
  2. At this stage we analyse our observations and synthesise them in order to outline the core problems of the potential product. We define the problem in a human-centred manner, after which we formulate questions that guide us to ideas and solutions by asking how we might encourage the users to perform a certain action that will benefit them and will simultaneously involve our clients’ business model.
  3. With a solid background from the previous stages, we are ready to start thinking outside of the box to develop new solutions and start looking for alternative ways to approach the task.
  4. At this point we produce a number of inexpensive, scaled down versions of the product known as wireframes and prototypes to test possible solutions and choose the best ones. Prototypes are shared and tested within the team itself, sent to the client for feedback, and, if the time and budget constraints allow it, are handed off to a focus group of individuals sampled from the target audience for user testing. 
  5. The prototypes are explored and either accepted, improved and re-examined, or rejected on the basis of the users’ experiences. This is the final stage of the 5 stage-model, but in an iterative process, the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems and inform the understanding of the users, the conditions of use, how people think, behave, and feel. Even during this phase, alterations and refinements are made in order to rule out problem solutions and derive as deep an understanding of the product and its users as possible. Changes might still be applied during this phase to perfect and push the product even further.

AESTHETICS ARE PARAMOUNT

As much as we value substance over form and focus on usability, we realise that the best products are beautiful to look at and delightful to interact with. The UI is the very first and the very last layer of interaction between the user and the product. The aesthetics, the look and the feel are crucial to users’ perception of the product and directly affect day-to-day usage. Numerous studies have shown that users perceive aesthetically pleasing design as more usable. There have been cases when aesthetically pleasing design had helped mask usability problems and prevent issues from being discovered during usability testing. 

This is why after the architecture and UX have been set in place we invest heavily into crafting the visual appeal of the product to create a beautiful UI with rich micro-interactions and pleasing aesthetics.

CLIENT INVOLVEMENT/COMMUNICATION

We involve our clients in each stage of the design process to provide as much transparency as possible and to maximise the amount of useful feedback we gather. However, we do not expect out clients to be design professionals and understand all the intricacies of the process. The latter is our responsibility and expertise, THAT is why we were hired in the first place. 

We have simplified the classic Design Thinking formula into a number of easy-to-follow digestible bits that our clients can evaluate and give feedback on:

  1. We interview our client, assess their goals and figure out the main challenges of the product
  2. Based on our research we prepare a product outline and present it to our client for a first round of feedback
  3. We create series of wireframes and prototypes taking client's commentary into account and finalize user flows
  4. We develop visual styles and let the client pick their favorite from several options
  5. We create the final UI design and the technical specification of the project