Articles

Client questionnaire

Questions we commonly ask new clients to discover opportunities for providing strategic design services.

  • Who is currently responsible for leading these areas: customer experience, service design, user experience design?
  • Who were the last three people you hired with design or innovation skills? (Using ‘design’ and ‘innovation’ loosely – any kind of talent related to these areas.)
  • What are your biggest pain points regarding end-to-end customer or user experience? (Think about common complaints in feedback from customers, or internal pain points from product management or technology staff.)
  • What technological products and services power your business that could benefit from an improved user experience?
  • How do you engage end-users or customers in co-designing the experience they have with your services?
  • Do you have a roadmap or a set of goals for improving your total service experience?
  • Do you have a maturity model and governance plan for experience design?
  • Do you have a set of blueprints or visualizations of your end-to-end customer experience and your surface-to-core processes and technologies for service design?
  • Describe how you practice ‘design thinking’ for innovation or problem-space exploration.
  • How are design initiatives prioritized, measured, and reported?
  • Are design practitioners empowered and involved in planning and decision-making for digital technology investment?
  • Do you have dedicated experience designer staff, or do product managers / engineers do double-duty as designers?

Work Samples

Here are a few selected UX and UI design work samples.

Saxony design deck

First, we invite you to flip through our design services overview deck.

Saxony Partners Design 20170628

Web site redesign concept video

Ben Judy and Ryan Stacy recently produced this ‘concept pitch’ for design enhancements to a Real Estate client’s web site.

The video is about ten minutes long. If you’re short on time, jump to 6:43 where we recommend a TurboTax-style ‘wizard’ approach to the rental application form.

Here are some of our conceptual designs we created for this pitch. Keep in mind these are hasty conceptual mockups, not finished work. We created these to illustrate the design principles and ideas discussed in the video; these are not the result of our normal UX design process.


Kitchen display system

Franchise restaurant brand WingStop engaged us to help them cook up a proprietary kitchen communications and analytics solution. This project has been tons of fun (and delicious!)

Benefits delivered

  • Increase customer satisfaction scores
  • Greater efficiency in kitchen operations
  • New communication channel from corporate to restaurants
  • More efficient labor planning and utilization

Paper prototyping

We built paper prototypes of our software user interface for a quick, visual representation that could easily be shared with stakeholders. The prototypes also allowed us to simulate multiple monitor sizes to see which worked best in the kitchen environment.

Visual design mockups

Usability testing

Moderated usability tests enabled us to identify issues early in stores before the product was finished. The tests also helped us prioritize iterative improvements through the design and development process, and encouraged a user-centric design focus for the entire product team.

Client review

WingStop corporate stakeholders reviewing an early, functional prototype of the Kitchen Display System. They loved it!

Enterprise knowledge & learning employee intranet – UX discovery

Turner Construction wanted more value from its employee collaboration and training systems. We led a UX discovery phase to determine what Turner employees needed from their enterprise knowledge and learning platform. This was a great opportunity for us to exercise our skills in user research, information architecture, interaction design, and visual design.

Benefits delivered

  • An engaging and intuitive user interface
  • Logical and flexible content organization
  • Enhanced search and browse functionality
  • A scalable strategy for content management

Persona profiles

After conducting a series of interviews and workshops with Turner employees, we produced a set of eight Persona Profiles to focus the project team on user needs and to build empathy.

“Leon” is one of eight personas (composite characters) we created from analysis of our user research insights.

User scenarios

UI wireframes

Visual design mockups

Creative concept video

Design review board

To facilitate collaboration and feedback with the Turner team, we posted our discovery phase deliverables here. You can check ’em out, too.

http://tkn.saxonydesign.com


Travel booking web site

Concept video

This design concept (circa 2011) for American Airlines demonstrates the effectiveness of a low-fidelity, interactive prototype. User interaction and content can be discussed, while branding and visual design are not the focus at this stage in the design process.


Professional tax preparation web app

Here’s an assortment of screens for Intuit Tax Online circa 2015 (the product has since been renamed ‘ProConnect Tax Online.’) These visual mockups were exported from an interactive prototype built in Axure.


Design method cards

Finally, here’s a little peek in to how the sausage is made. We created a set of cards describing 36 methods for design and innovation.

The cards are a handy, quick reference we use to plan design-led group activities, facilitate collaborative workshops, and bring human empathy to product teams.

Each card is aligned to a phase of our DRIVE consulting methodology, but many can be used in isolation as well.

We use these methods to plan design-led group activities, facilitate collaborative workshops, and bring human empathy to product teams.

User Interviews for Employee Intranets

See: Design Method – Stakeholder Interviews

Questions to ask corporate employees about their intranet user experience:

  • You
    • What is your name?
    • Role at the company?
    • How long have you been with the company?
  • General Usage
    • On average, how many hours per week do you spend using the employee intranet?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, how useful or important is the employee intranet to your ability to do your job? (0 means not important at all, 10 means you can’t do anything without it.)
      • Why not a higher number? (What would make the employee intranet more important to you?)
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, how successful or usable is the employee intranet in helping you do what you came there to do? (0 means not important at all, 10 means you can’t do anything without it.)
      • Why not a higher number? (What would make the employee intranet more successful or usable for you?)
    • List all the things you can think of that you use the employee intranet for. Why do you use it?
      • [Conduct an open card sort.] What information do you want on the employee intranet, and how should it be organized?
      • Which of those content areas are most important to your role?
    • What’s the ratio between using the employee intranet to do your specific job function (work directly related to your role) versus general employee activities (e.g. entering hours worked into a time tracking tool)?
    • If you could change anything about the employee intranet by snapping your fingers, what would you change?
    • Compare the employee intranet to corporate intranets at your previous employers, if any. How is it better or worse?
  • Consumption
    • Describe your most recent use of the employee intranet to get or consume information.
      • How did you find that information?
    • Describe your most common uses of the employee intranet to get or consume information.
    • What type of content do you expect to find on the employee intranet?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, generally speaking, how familiar are you with all of the content that is available on the employee intranet? (In other words, do you think you generally know what is and is not there, or is it a mystery?)
    • What type of content would you like to see on the employee intranet that is not currently there?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, generally speaking, how confident are you that you can find what you need to find on the employee intranet?
    • Is there anything that gives you grief or is particularly difficult about getting or consuming content from the employee intranet?
  • Creation
    • What was the most recent piece of content you contributed to the employee intranet?
      • Walk me through how you submitted that content.
    • What is the most common content you contribute to the employee intranet?
    • Is there anything that gives you grief or is particularly difficult about contributing content to the employee intranet?
    • On a scale of 0 to 10, generally speaking, how confident are you that you can find what you need to find on the employee intranet?
  • Communication
    • To what extent do you view the employee intranet as a communication tool?
    • What kinds of internal emails do you send to All Employees?
      • How often do you send these? (Frequency)
      • Why don’t you use the employee intranet rather than email to send these messages to All Employees?
  • Collaboration
    • How do you use the employee intranet to collaborate (get work done) with co-workers?
    • Aside from the employee intranet, what tools do you use to collaborate and get work done with co-workers?
    • Envision the employee intranet being a better tool for collaboration. What would it allow you to do?
  • Anything else you’d like to share?

Showing the interviewee other intranets to elicit feedback and spark ideas.

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: UI Wireframes

In today’s Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we focus on UI Wireframes. This methodology allows you to take sketches and ideas from other sources: Personas, Stakeholder Interviews, and more –and make them more representative of the final product.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: UI Wireframes

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: Automated Analytics

In today’s Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we focus on Automated Analytics. This methodology allows you to inexpensively collect large amounts of data about user behavior.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: Automated Analytics

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: Affinity Diagramming

In today’s Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we focus on Affinity Diagramming. This methodology allows you to brainstorm and organize many ideas before any quality assessment is made.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: Affinity Diagramming

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: Stakeholder Interviews

In today’s Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we cover Stakeholder Interviews. This methodology allows you to learn more about the goals of a product or business from the point of view of people that have a big stake in the success of either.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: Stakeholder Interviews

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: Direct Observation

In today’s Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we cover Direct Observation. It is a methodology that enables you to view users in the actual environment that they use or would use your device or interface.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: Direct Observation

Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week: Usability Testing

In today’s first ever Saxony Partners Design Method of the Week, we cover Usability Testing. This is critical to projects and companies that have mature user experience practices. These mature practices also fall higher on the Design Strategy Altitude Model, which we will be covering in a later week.

What is it?

Usability testing is a methodology that facilitates not only validation of the quality of an interface or physical product, but also the discovery of usability issues. A usability test is when users perform a set of tasks and the performance of the system is recorded. Conducting usability testing and incorporating feedback into the product continuously throughout discovery, design, and development is the ideal way to build high quality products. These products, along with good marketing strategy, will have fewer usability issues and have a much higher chance of beating competitors.

How Should a Test Occur?

Usability Testing is conducted remotely via the web, in users’ environments (e.g., cubicles, vehicles, job sites), or in a usability testing lab that utilizes recording technology and two way mirrors. Additionally, there are important roles that are ideally filled by different people to better facilitate good testing:

  • Recruiter – This person is tasked with finding users that use or may likely use the system assuming good marketing and few usability issues.
  • User – This is a person that the recruiter, if they have done their job correctly, is an actual user or potential user of the product. If they are discovered to be neither, they should still be compensated for their time and dismissed from testing.
  • Facilitator – The facilitator should be a senior usability tester who is experienced in using a script and aware of when it is acceptable to deviate from the script to ask follow-up questions as issues arise when the user uses the interface.
  • Note Taker – This person records any note worthy occurrences such as questions the users ask or challenges they have during tasks.
  • Observers – These should ideally be product owners, developers, and designers who might otherwise discount the usability testing results as inconclusive had they not been present. If these stakeholders are not available they should be given access to videos, quotes, or good summaries of what happened while they were not present.
  • Presenter – This person should be good at public speaking and is often the facilitator of the test. They should push to present the results to decision makers for the product. They’ll be able to summarizes the results, go into great detail of what the results mean, suggest solutions, and be prepared to answer questions.

The outcome of usability testing is:

  • System Usability Scale Scores are given by users and will show how the product rates when compared against thousands of other products that were evaluated in the same way.
  • Usability Issues are discovered by observing the users as they interact with the system. They will help inform what should be focused on when designing solutions. The following are ways of identifying which tasks had issues:
    • Time on Task
    • Difficulty

There are some potential issues that can occur with usability testing

– Is the right person presenting? Addressing reluctance of decision makers to accept conclusions from testing is a key aspect of Usability Testing. The person presenting should be ready to answer questions and provide valid support for their conclusions.

– Sometimes technology breaks during a test. Perhaps a recording device fails or the application fails. This is an opportunity to have back up recording devices and things such as paper prototypes or wireframes so that the test can still be useful.

– Often you won’t understand why a user did a certain action. Having users think out loud and reminding them to do so during a test will help identify where the human computer interaction failed. This will help produce better solutions by focusing on these failed interactions.

Additional Information

For more details, see our page devoted to this method: Usability Testing