If there's one thing I've learned in my 25 years as a usability specialist and writer, it's this: if you want your product to be easy to use, you must put yourself in the shoes of your customer and always design with them in mind.
That's why I've developed an organic process that can be adapted to Websites, software, or learning materials. This process guarantees my clients' customers can find what they need and understand what they read.
- I take time to understand your business goals and those of your customer. Whether your customer is a software user, a pet owner, or a senior looking for fitness classes, I look at your customers' motivations, frustrations, and goals and make sure they are considered. I never forget that the ultimate goal of a user guide, Website, or software application is to help your customer find information more easily and take action.
- I'm a big believer in paper prototypes. When it comes to software and Websites, I use PowerPoint mockups to give you an idea of the look and feel of software screens and Web pages. That way, you feel part of the design process AND get a sense of what users will go through when they use the software or Website BEFORE it's developed.
- I'm a serious proponent of iterative design. I do the simplest thing that will work and iteratively improve upon it. That way, you see incremental results as you provide feedback. Together we adjust things as necessary because in the real world, change is a given!