Do any of these sound familiar?
- "Working with designers has been frustrating. They are such divas"
- "I worked with an agency, and what they produced was okay, but it didn't feel like they really cared about solving my problem. They did the absolute minimum and they tried to sell me on more"
- "The work my designer produced looked good, but after we launched, my customers kept having trouble figuring out what to do when they used my product"
- "The designers I worked with just didn't 'get' me"
The unique perspective I bring to your business is based on my unique background: because I'm a mix of very disparate cultures, I connect subjects that other designers aren't able to connect as easily. This leads to seeing opportunities that would stay undiscovered if you worked with someone who does not have this perspective.
I graduated with a Master's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction. Over the last decade, I've been applying human-centered design principles to ever larger projects. I've worked in all aspects of the design process at some point. I was a programmer for a while, so I understand and can communicate with your engineers as well.
Core Strengths (natural gifts I further developed):
- UX Strategy, aka "What's my problem diagnosis, what's our guiding policy, and what are our concrete steps for action"
- Interaction design, aka "How should our site behave when people click on things"
- Presenting / teaching / speaking, aka "How do I present ideas in a way that it really hits home for the audience"
Strengths (skills I acquired)
- Visual design, aka "How do we make this site look really hot"
- UX Research, aka "Gather data about what our customers do and want"
- Marketing, aka "How do we make more people aware of what we have to offer"
- Content Strategy, aka "How do we get the right content to the right person at the right time in the right context"
What I can't do:
- Coding/Programming/Development, aka "Write custom modules for my WordPress site".
- Production, aka " We need this image changed / there's a typo / we need to update this block of text"
My Design Principles
I've noticed that a few big principles guide all of my design projects:
Start with the people first
The first thing I do on any project is get a clear idea of the people we're serving. There are many tactics for this, but what it boils down to is to either ask them, or watch them.
Watching people interact with your product in real-time, gives us the kind of "head-slapping" insights you can't get from a survey.
I firmly believe that if you focus on serving the people first, your business goals will be met.
Co-create with the business partners
I like to involve all the key people in a project early and get information and feedback often. Modern design, in my view, isn't King Designer pulling grand ideas out of the ether. Design is more like a puzzle that we are all trying to solve together, and the designer facilitates and synthesizes the information into a potential vision.
Build interactive prototypes ASAP
In my experience, the only thing that non-designers really understand is a prototype. As soon as you show people a prototype, you have those "aha" moments where it really starts clicking in their minds what we're trying to accomplish, and the discussions move forward at lightning speed.
Stay in the lowest possible fidelity, for as long as possible
What this means is that I keep our prototypes very very basic, for as long as possible. They often look like this:
At this stage, I'm not trying to win design awards, just nailing down the basic structure and flow. And these prototypes are so fast and easy to build, that we can make adjustmens very often, which in the long run, leads to faster results -- even though for a while, it seems like I'm moving slowly, because there's no pretty visuals.