“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.”
– Steve Jobs
By practicing user-centric methodologies, value is added, goals become defined, and branding adds clarity. This combination delivers a good User Experience for the product and brand. Her passion integrates holistic thinking and research methods into a context for design — ultimately driving user adoption and engagement. User-Centered Design influences human behavior. Interaction design creates an immediate emotional state with the product and brand. Strategy does matter.
Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you can empower others. Consulting and Training are just a few of Kristi’s strengths, read What Others Say.
Kristi’s user research methods consist of usability testing that involves qualitative and quantitative feedback. Email surveys capture what objectives to focus on in the interviews and what tasks the user is to perform. Feedback collected through recorded interviews can involve tasked based items for the user to complete while using a product.
As a follow-up, an online survey captures feedback after users have completed the tasks. The feedback indicates whether the product is meeting the users needs, based off objectives determined in the email survey. The steps should be in this specific order to capture the user’s needs accurately and identify usability issues.
After doing some usability tests and interviews, Kristi gathers quantitative research through analytics helps determine what to focus on based off the alignment of data. Page views, the number of clicks, path analysis and keywords used in search help define requirements for a prototype or proof of concept.
Card sorting helps determine the main navigation labels, taxonomy and organization of content. Users are asked to sort cards into categories that make sense to them; the user sorts cards with terms written on them, into categorized piles.
After interpreting the data and analysis, the organization of the site is demonstrated using wireframes. Contextual design is structured the using user-centered design (UCD) framework of processes in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. The UCD framework is not restricted to interfaces or technologies.
Observations recorded from the tasked based interviews help identify user behavior patterns and interactions. Once interpreted, the data is used to create prototypes for A/B testing, paper prototypes for usability or interactive prototypes such as a proof of concept (POC), For further possibilities, user stories composed in visual storyboards show the envisioned path for users. The user stories are also incorporated into Personas, a focused group of people identified with specific needs, desires and intentions.
Personas represent the user’s intent and are referenced during the development process. Structured wireframes and visual mockups are used to guide CSS and HTML development applied to the prototypes.
At the beginning of the design process, user-centered design philosophies and information architecture processes intuitively fold usability and brand identity into the process. Prototypes validate qualitative data gathered from analytics, and the qualitative data confirms the feedback received from users.
Users typically read from left to right, making the most important spot on a web page at the top left of the page. Publishing content in a specific matter does make a difference. With the user-centered design (UCD) framework in place, The consistency, placement, styling and format become pillars for branding.
Storytelling through images and video creates dynamic content. Placing and linking content in a contextual manner helps users identify content placement. The strategy for contextual design promotes self-discovery and a quick learning curve, which makes the user feel good.
Kristi uses publishing methods and design guidelines to ensure consistency within an product, it sets user interface design standards and maintains branding. Strategic planning is necessary for placement of content, it ensures branding aligns with content delivery. Titles should match the message, and use color and white space accordingly for consistency and ease of use.
User-centered design (UCD) is incorporated into brand management, enabling the product to grow and build loyal customers through positive associations. Branding is the process of creating a relationship or a connection between a product and emotional perception of the user.