User Interface design

We offer a range of consultancy services tailored to meet specific project requirements - including requirements engineering, user interface design, expert reviews, usability research, video analysis, competitor analysis, graphic design and technical authoring.

 

Requirements Engineering

We work closely with your development team to design software that meets the requirements of both your business and your users. Our approach is based upon gaining a thorough understanding of user requirements through user profiling, task analysis and contextual enquiry.

Requirements elicitation techniques include card sorting, stake-holder workshops, domain analysis, predecessor system analysis and competitor analysis.

 

card sorting results

 

 

HTML wireframe

User Interface DesignTop |

User requirements are used to inform the design of prototypes or wire-frames of the user interface. Prototypes may be paper-based or can be built in a range of tools – including HTML, PowerPoint, Visual Basic, Photoshop and Visio.

The prototypes identify navigation sequences, informational requirements and the placement and behaviour of individual display and control elements on each screen. They can then be rapidly tested with users and iterated to optimise the user experience.

We also author and maintain user interface specifications and style guides to help your development team implement the designs accurately and consistently.

 

Expert ReviewsTop |

An expert review - or ‘heuristic evaluation’ - allows us to quickly identify the principal usability issues affecting your software and to provide practical design recommendations for optimising the user interface. It is often conducted as a precursor – or alternative – to more in-depth usability research.

During the review, we typically simulate the behaviour of potential users performing a series of representative tasks. We then evaluate the system against established usability principles and design guidelines – such as accessibility, compatibility, feedback, error tolerance, intelligibility, visual clarity and consistency.

Findings are documented in outline and/or detailed reports describing and ranking usability issues and providing in-depth design recommendations. Report formats are tailored to your specific requirements.

 

key issues report

 

 

testing paper prototype

Usability Research Top |

Usability research involves capturing users’ verbal and non-verbal reactions to your software, helping to ensure that the design is compatible with their abilities, expectations and behaviours. We are experienced in organising, moderating and reporting a variety of task-based, user-centred research techniques - including lab-based usability tests, workplace evaluations, focus groups, surveys, questionnaires, interviews and workshops.

Where appropriate, the development team are encouraged to observe the live sessions with users. In addition, sessions can be recorded to allow detailed analysis and to support the dissemination of results to the rest of the organisation.

Findings are documented in outline and/or detailed reports describing participant comments and behaviours, identifying and ranking usability issues, and providing in-depth design recommendations. Report formats can be tailored to your specific requirements.

 

Video Analysis Top |

Video recording of participant comments and behaviours can be a powerful tool for highlighting key usability issues, and for communicating user and customer reactions throughout your organisation.

Our state-of-the-art portable usability equipment can be configured to meet a range of recording requirements - from simple dubbing of raw video footage, to creation of elaborate picture-in-picture summary videos.

 

picture-in-picture recording

 

 

competing iTV solutions

Competitor AnalysisTop |

After agreeing key usage scenarios, we benchmark your software against competitor products across a range of usability and performance criteria - including potential for error, error tolerance, no. of control selections or keystrokes, display diversity and task duration.

Statistical composites are then calculated from these individual metrics to derive overall comparative usability and performance ratings.

 

Graphic DesignTop |

We design distinct, meaningful, coherent and attractive on-screen graphics for your software - including button, toolbar and navigation tree icons.

Graphics are designed to optimise identification of function, salience, differentiation and aesthetic appeal.

 

iconic keypad

 

 

user guide

Technical Authoring|Top|

We have extensive experience authoring and maintaining a range of user interface related documents – including user interface specifications, style guides, design guidelines, training materials, on-screen help and user guides.

We can also advise on the use of terminology, phrasing and 'voice' in your software.

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