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Need to discuss a project?

Call me at  

805-218-0838

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Why would you choose me over someone else?

 

High quality, appropriate results

 

I have extensive information architecture and interaction design and writing skills; experience with a wide range of projects (intranets, websites, business systems and web applications) and experience with a wide range of industries (government, healthcare, e-commerce, insurance).

For you this means:

You get the right outcome for your project – you can be confident that I do have the right experience to produce a high-quality output.

You don’t lose money while I learn how things work

I can learn about your domain quickly, saving you money and project time

 

You get my experience

 

I actually have all the skills I’m selling.

I’m not combining a team’s skills to sell you my services, then offering you a consultant who has none of the skills. You get me, and you get my experience.

 

I play nice with others

 

I get along with almost everyone, work well in teams and get my hands dirty to do what needs to be done.

I also recognize that you are hiring me as an addition to your skill set. You already have smart people doing great work. I won’t tell them what to do or treat them like they don’t know what they are doing. We’ll work together to produce something great.

 

I’m flexible

 

I don’t have fancy, fixed methodologies and step-by-step approaches that I must follow. I’ll work in a way that suits you – after all, you are buying my skills, not a methodology.

 

Need more?

 

You can find out more about me and the type of work I do: please contact me to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IA

 

About information architecture (IA)

 

Information architecture is about structuring information systems (such as websites and intranets) in a way that allows people to:

find information they need

find information they didn’t know they needed

make better decisions

complete information tasks faster and more accurately

Information architecture skills are most needed for projects that involve organizing and managing large amounts of content – providing structure, navigation and labeling.

IA skills are are also necessary for interactive applications – providing the structure, workflow, labeling and navigation for a system.

 

IA in a project

 

Information architecture activities are design activities, done toward the beginning of a project. Most IA-heavy projects will involve steps like:

Elicit or articulate the business goals and context in which the project occurs

Analyze content

Undertake user research activities (which may include a card sort)

Analyze the findings from the first three steps

Develop a structure and labeling scheme

Develop navigation and page layouts (this step may also require interaction design skills)

 

Deliverables

 

The most common deliverables for the information architecture portion of a project are a site map and set of wire frames.

A site map outlines the conceptual structure and detailed structure for the site. A site map may be represented as a diagram (for conceptual structures or small sites), or as a big spreadsheet that shows details for all content chunks.

 

Wire frames are page layouts without detailed visual treatment. They show what content should be included on a page and it’s basic positioning. Wire frames can be very conceptual, showing only rough content placement; or very detailed, with final page copy.

The IA step of a project will involve other deliverables as is needed to achieve your project goals.

 

When to get me involved

 

Information architecture parts of a project do not need to be done by someone who uses a title of ‘information architect’ – and in most cases a specialist information architect is not needed.

You may want to get me involved for:

large sites of any kind

sites with a wide range of content types and a range of topics

content that people will want to access in more than one way

sites that use more than a simple hierarchy

implementing of a content management system

implementing or improving a search facility

I rarely do IA work on small, simple sites, but am happy to provide mentoring you so you can improve your skills as you work.

 

Interaction design                      BACK TO TOP OF PAGE

 

About interaction design (IxD)

 

Interaction design is about designing the interface layer for a whole application so it is usable, functional and elegant. It is more than just screen design, and will usually involve the design of process and workflow as well – as these are core to how an application will work.

Interaction design is about understanding what people need to do, how they do it, what they know and how they work; and using this information to ensure interactive systems are designed to allow them to achieve their goals easily. It is about understanding human abilities and limitations and ensuring systems are designed to use our strengths and support our limitations.

Interaction design skills are needed for all projects that have interfaces that users will interact with, such as e-commerce systems, business applications, complex forms, handheld devices and much more.

Interaction design is a combination of interface design, process design and sometimes industrial design. It requires both big picture, strategic design skills, and the ability to design the very detailed interactions in interface. As such, good interaction designers are in very short demand.

 

Interaction design in a project

 

Interaction design activities are done toward the beginning of a project. Most projects will usually involve the following steps:

Elicit or articulate the business goals and context in which the project occurs

Analyse processes and workflows

Undertake user research activities

Analyse the findings from the first three steps

Develop a new workflow or process

Design an approach to the interface

Design detailed interfaces and interactions

 

Interaction design is rarely done by one person – the workflow and process steps will usually be done by a team, although the interface and interactions may be done by a specialist interaction designer.

 

Deliverables

 

The most common deliverables for the interaction design portion of a project are a set of interfaces, clearly describing how every action on a screen should work.

Prototype creation is a key part of interaction design projects. I create hand-drawn paper prototypes, computer-drawn prototypes and interactive prototypes, depending on the stage of the project and what the prototype will be used for (discussion, usability testing, demonstrating interaction). I use tools such as pen-and-paper, Visio and Axure to create prototypes.

A project may also deliver an interaction or style guide so a team can make modifications in a consistent manner.

 

When to get me involved

 

My specialist interaction design skills are most useful for applications that:

have complex workflows or interfaces

have complex content

will be used by people with a wide range of skills and for a range of tasks

are attempting something new and unproven

 

 

 

 

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