UX Design, UI Development

Envisioning a superior user experience

Well-conceived UI and UX designs improve accessibility and simplify use. They minimize training requirements, improve productivity, and reduce error rates. They can give voice to a brand and can support — or even inspire — a marketing strategy.

External Design develops the user experience and user interfaces for device firmware in embedded systems and for other software. We welcome the challenge of coming up to speed with an engineering team, sliding into an existing workflow, and providing a spectrum of support services that add value to a project.

What They’re Saying:

“It is a very nice, clean user interface, and very intuitively easy to use. Anybody who works in an earth station, who knows what you need to do, can walk up to this thing and start tapping buttons, and get it to do something useful without a user manual. That was one of our design goals.

“Well, we had an expert in user experience. Marlin Ouverson did the entire design for the user experience… down to the placement of every pixel and every color… and it’s absolutely beautiful. And everyone that we had come in to view this while we were setting it up was oohing and aahing about it, so we knew we had gotten it right.”

Our Favorite Feedback:

“So, how would I— oh, it’s right here.”

Case history:

New Generation of Satellite Antenna Controllers

Radeus Labs, Inc. recently developed the first in a new generation of control systems for the large dish antennas used for tracking communications satellites. External Design’s Marlin Ouverson conceived and designed both the user experience and user interface (UX, UI) within the constraints of the host operating system. Our long-time colleagues at FORTH, Inc. provided engineering support and software development. Radeus’ resulting Model 8200 ACU (shown) has clear competitive and usability advantages over earlier systems. It continues to receive very favorable reviews in the satcom field.

photo: earth station ACS electronics - antenna, control unit, drive cabinet

A good user interface design can shorten the learning curve, improve operator accuracy, enable faster responses, and help even skilled users focus more on the problem to be solved than on the tool being used.

UX vs. UI
What’s the Difference?

In lieu of a dissertation, we offer this succinct way of thinking about them:

  • The user experience (UX) comprises all the micro-impressions, flow, clarity, intuitiveness, ease, and subjective and objective rewards of a web site or application.
  • The user interface (UI) is the visual appearance and arrangement of the controls and content.

Steeped the Evolution of Interfaces

Circa 1980, Marlin Ouverson was invited to Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) labs, where engineers demonstrated to him the world’s first functioning computer mouse and the first example of multiple windows on a display, with a different application running in each. They were barebones by today’s standards, but paved the way to the first Macintosh and other, now-ubiquitous, GUI* operating systems and devices.

Since those days, Marlin has consistently advocated for improved human-machine interfaces.

*”Graphical user interface”

UX development - UI design
Service Type
UX development - UI design
User experience (UX) comprises the impressions, flow, clarity, intuitiveness, and subjective and objective rewards of a web site or application. User interface (UI) is the appearance of the controls and content.