Designing user interfaces and specifying requirements
If you are specifying a new system or planning to make changes to an existing system in a new release, you can outsource designing the functionality and the user interface to us. We are specialized in designing efficient interaction; our simulation-based design and testing methods ensure not only usability, but also valid functional and data requirements. Proper functionality and data are the basis for a good user interface.
Outsourcing user interface design
Our design process is based on the GUIDe method that we have developed at the University of Helsinki and Interacta Design. The objective of the method is to maximize the utility of a system by supporting the situations faced by the users as directly as possible. If the specification of the system is based on the upcoming actual use situations, the system will end up supporting the real use situations exceptionally well.
When designing either a new system or changes to an existing one, we begin by finding out realistic use situations (a kind of scenarios) from the userís point of view. Next, we design the user interface to support them in a most straightforward manner. This results in a user interface specification, which shows the features, the data, and the behavior of the system. The specification typically consists of a series of screens, which visualize the behavior of the system and show step by step the operations that the user completes when moving towards his goal in a real use situation.
In addition to designing the behaviour of the user interface, we can also take responsibility of graphical design. Alternatively, your own graphic designer can finish off the graphical elements of the user interface that we have designed.
By visualizing the functional and data requirements into a user interface specification we get a model of the system that can be tested with users at a very early stage Ė which is when making revisions to the whole system is still economical. If you want to, you can come and observe testing of the user interface to see for yourself how the future users react to the designed system.
For further development, we usually document the tangible use situations that we have found out in the beginning of the project. In addition to being useful high-level test cases for system testing and acceptance testing, these situations provide the sales people with a convincing tool to demonstrate the added value of the system. If the marketing department later considers taking in new target groups, use situations can be used to evaluate how the changes would affect the systemís current functionality and data.
If needed, you can also outsource the implementation of the system to us. See Implementing a system on the navigation bar.
Our typical offer contains a proposal for the phases and a schedule of the project, as well as workload estimates.
Design consultation by the hour
If there are few resources available or if you need new information or more effective methods to support your own interaction design, you can make good use of our design consultation, instead of outsourcing the whole design phase. In this case, one of our experienced designers develops the user interface in common meetings together with the designers from your own company. In addition to developing the user interface, the advantage is that your designers accumulate competency and knowledge on the user interface design methods and good designs.
When needed, design consultation can be arranged with a very light procedure and small budget. At a minimum, the work can consist of 3-6 hours of preparation, followed by a common design meeting lasting a few hours, for example. Although the results of such a small investment cannot be that thorough, it can still improve the user interface of the system a lot at many critical points.
In addition to design consultation you can complement the methodological knowledge and design expertise of your own designers with customized training, where we prepare design examples and exercises from your own products.