Real UX design, UI development
The best user interfaces help minimize training time, improve productivity, and reduce error rates. Well-conceived UI and user experience can give voice to a brand and can support — or even inspire — a marketing strategy.
Good Design is for Engineers, too.
“So, how would I… oh, it’s right here!”
“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.”
—Leon Wagner, November 21, 2015
Forth Day, Stanford University campus
Conversely, an interface that’s ill-conceived, blindly prescriptive, overloaded, or just aging can hinder good work.
The best user interfaces minimize training requirements, improve productivity, and reduce error rates.
And that adds to the UX, too.
How we can help
- We design UX and UI for electronic devices. We collaborate with project managers and with hardware and firmware engineers from prototype to production.
- For software, we can design look-and-feel in collaboration with code developers. That can include the UX or just the graphical assets, as needed.
- For select projects, we may provide technical documentation. For some, this dovetails with the task of scoping the interface.
UI vs. UX
What’s the difference?
In lieu of a dissertation, we offer this succinct way of thinking about them:
- UI — the visual appearance and arrangement of the controls and content.
- UX — all the micro-impressions, flow, clarity, intuitiveness, ease, and the subjective and objective rewards of interactions with websites or applications.
“Our audience doesn’t care about that.”
Good UI & UX benefit everyone. If this seems only superficially correct, consider whether an audience/market does not want to see itself as needing the benefit.
“Simplicity of use should be simple to achieve…”
…and, therefore, not very expensive. We like when that happens, but it can be rare. In practice, it often is quite challenging to achieve a Zen-like clarity and intuitiveness or the kind of approachability we endorse.
Steeped in the history of UI & UX
Circa 1980, Marlin Ouverson was invited to Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) labs, where engineers demonstrated to him the world’s first mouse and the first example of multiple windows on a display, with a different application running in each. As a bonus, the monitor could be manually rotated 90° for both landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) screen layouts.
Those items laid out on the engineers’ workbench paved the way to the first Macintosh and other graphical operating systems.
Since those days, Marlin has consistently pressed for improved human-machine interfaces.
* GUI: graphical user interface