Our Usability process
We have over decade of experience working in various capacities with companies all over the pacific northwest. From the dashboard of your vehicle, to the shopping cart on your favorite website...Usability is all around us and is constantly evolving. The world is moving at a lightning pace and the best way to stay on top of the wave and ahead of the competition, is to listen to your users.
The following is a rough overview of our process. Each project is customized to our clients needs, however, this will give you an idea of what our development process looks like and what to expect.
Strategy: This is the starting phase. We sit down with our clients and identify the business and your competitive landscape. Through our client study we will probably ask you questions you have not thought to ask yourself. This discovery session helps us all understand exactly what the purpose of the project is. We will understand the business and the business needs. We will also identify your user and their needs. This will dictate the design moving forward. When complete, we have created the blue print for what we are about to layout
Scope: Now that we know what we want to accomplish, we need to help you define those requirements in a way that fits your budget, your user expectations, and defines (in detail) exactly what we are going to do for you. We will prioritize the goals we have laid out in the strategy phase. We create functional specs that define how we are going to accomplish our goals and what we need to do that. Functional specs (at a very high level) help:
- Developers know what to build
- Testers to know what tests to run and what success looks like
- Stake holders to know exactly what they are getting.
This, of course, is a bit of a simplification of the actual definition... but for this document it should suffice..
Structure: Now that we know what we are building and what goals need to be accomplished, we can start developing the site architecture. This includes defining the user interface, roles, and process of your users. Think of this as the blueprint for the final project. Here we look at how we are going to accomplish the goals of the site, within the scope of the project.
Frame: This is an extension of the previous phase. We are now defining site navigation and implementing more complex UI into the project. These specifications will be annotated with explanations of the functionality expectations. This is where the site starts to take shape and wire framing of the product begins.
Paint: Now that we have an approved wire frame. We are going to start implementing the brand and defining design patterns. This includes:
- Visual branding
- Defining color palettes & contrast
- Communication through:
- Visual design
- Common UI patterns
- Site typography
Prototype: This is where we actually get into "coding" the product. Here is where we incorporate everything we have learned. The finished prototype will be able to perform all the desired functions as laid out in the business requirements at the beginning of the project. The code will be designed (and tested), against the appropriate browsers and devices as per spec.