User experience design
We know that people want the service or product to be feature-rich and up-to-date. But at the same time, they expect the user interface to be simple and fluid, elegant and delightful.
At Closertag we focus on clear, fluid user experiences …
… because we know that it is what users want: if your customers are not happy with the quality of your service, they may eventually switch to your competitor.
One of the ways we love describing user experience design is like filling the layers of a cake: at the bottom we start with the value proposition, then we fill information and service architecture; we move then to the upper layers, interaction and visual design. Users will see at first only the upper layers, but when biting they will eat and taste the whole cake. Our metaphor is pretty solid in describing how user experience layers are inter-connected: without a rock-solid base (i.e. value proposition) the whole cake will collapse.
How do we make it happen?
The Information and service architecture identifies the key service components, entry points (how do people find out about your service), navigation and taxonomies.
Key deliverables: sitemaps, user journeys, and flows.
Interaction design defines the screen/page framework, interaction patterns and affordances. At this stage it is important to define the key screens, flesh out in detail the user journeys and determine each component behaviour and states. Each interactive touchpoint will have its own characteristics, but the service as a whole will benefit by applying a similar set of interaction design principles.
Key deliverables: Wireframes, Storyboards and Functional specifications.
Visual design is the icing on the cake and it is fundamental in expressing the brand values & determining the overall customer perception of the service: sometimes it is all it takes to have customers favour your offering over your competitors.
Key deliverables: Visual design compendiums and styleguides.
Our favourite approach at Closertag is providing a multi-displiciplinary project team (information architect, interaction designer, visual designer), where every design iteration is shared by team members, as opposed to a traditional waterfall process.
We strongly recommend at this stage creating an interactive prototype, which will allow to validate these details with the design team & the other stakeholders.