USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
We design and implement intuitive, branded user experiences across all digital channels including websites, mobile apps, and kiosks.
The process and development tools we utilize at SmartShape include:
User Centered Design
The foundation of our process starts with the user. We begin by understanding the user's needs and wants through observation and interviews. Understanding user behaviors leads to actionable insights that guide development of user work flows. Our user flows outline the steps needed to complete user defined tasks. This work allows us to look for efficiencies and test our concepts early in the development cycle.
Wireframes form the visual guide or blueprint for the visual design to follow. Interactions, buttons, imagery and typography locations are defined within a wireframe, establishing information hierarchy, element relationships and navigation within the layout. We utilize a number of wireframing techniques including low-fidelity paper prototypes and sketches to high fidelity wireframes used in interactive prototypes. As in our product development process, we believe in prototyping early and often to validate design concepts and thinking. Wireframes are essential in this process.
Information architecture is essential for establishing connections and the findability of information within the environments of a structural design. As we develop architectures, we look to organize information for usability, optimizing the user experience. Navigation patterns are established not only inside individual programs but within complete systems involving multiple environments and databases.
Our development process relies on prototyping interactions and experiences early and often. We utilize low-fidelity prototypes to quickly expose user feedback to test core issues related to usability and the proposed functionality. Sketches and simple paper prototyping are part of this process. Our higher fidelity prototypes combine concepts validated early in the prototyping process with visual design elements to seek detailed feedback from users. We utilize a number of tools to product high fidelity prototypes including Adobe Flash and Axure.
Usability testing is key in evaluating your product prior to production and launch. Testing involves crafting use scenarios where participants provide direct input on the simple intuitiveness of a design. We develop benchmarks to study and note during testing for evaluation. An iterative testing process follows for refinements seeking validation prior to production. Qualitative testing can also be combined with usability testing to gather users' perceptions in addition to their performance indicators.
Intuitive Visual Design
Our design team are experts at developing aesthetically pleasing visual designs. With wireframes validated through usability testing, we blend functionality with stunning visuals to create a unique branded experience for our cilents.
Visual Brand Language
Our clients value our ability to develop a harmonious visual brand appearance. From the intuitive interactive design, through product and packaging design, our highly creative design team has the vision to craft a distinct brand appearance.
Our design team is highly skilled at creating branded visual languages for our client's products. Whether your product requires the use of international standards or a completely new system, we craft iconography in harmony with your product offering and brand. Expertly crafted icon systems add intrinsic value to your product both from an aesthetic standpoint but also a functional one.