Information Architecture (IA), GUI, UI, UX, & Interaction Design (

By: Kiewe Consulting  09-12-2011
Keywords: information architecture, Gui Design

You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

UX design saves time and money by creating a mockup or prototype based on design principles from cognitive and social psychology, and then evaluating it with usability testing, revising it, and redesigning it. Redesigning a mockup is much less costly than rebuilding a fully functional product because much less effort has been invested into the mockup's development. As well, you typically end up with a better finished product because you have refined the design through several iterations before you begin the labor-intensive effort of coding or manufacturing.

With the user requirements in mind, I typically begin by creating a blueprint (diagram showing a web site or GUI structure) and wireframe (sketched mockup of web pages or GUI), which are collaboratively evaluated by the product team and selected end users. Using one or more of the tools described in table below, I convert the mockup into an interactive prototype that I refine through several iterations of usability testing. In most cases, the prototype together with a design specification is handed over to a development team for implementation and integration with the rest of the product or backend system. The development team could be your internal staff or one of my partners.

UX design includes information architecture (IA), interaction design, UI design, and GUI design, and can be applied to mobile devices, web sites, web applications, desktop/enterprise software, and digital devices. For large projects or a series of smaller projects, I can develop a UI style guide that defines a product's look and feel. UI style guides enhance product consistency, usability, and brand identity, while simplifying the development process.

UX design tools for high-fidelity prototyping.
For These Projects I Use Developers Use
Web Sites HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, PhotoShop, Axure, Visio HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ASP, Perl, PHP
Web Applications & Mobile Devices As above plus Java, NetBeans or Eclipse, Flash for applications As above plus Java, ActionScript, Flex, AJAX and Web 2.0 tools
Desktop/Enterprise Applications As above plus VB, VisualStudio.NET C++, C#, various database platforms

Keywords: Gui Design, information architecture

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