User-Centered Design Services
Good design not only supports what users need to do – it also reflects their language, provides shortcuts for frequent tasks, notifies them of things they care about, and fits smoothly into a workflow that extends beyond your product.
I take a broad view of what users need to be successful and happy and happy with a product. Beyond the surface of the application, I look at questions such as:
- Will users understand what tasks they need to do in this product and what tasks to do in other products?
- Is it easy to set up the application consistently across multiple users in a team?
- Could we make security restrictions less onerous if we make user actions more auditable?
If I can be involved early enough in a project, I treat these as design problems.
I steer the evolving design from the earliest conceptual discussions through the final details of creating products that customers love. I use early sketching and rapid protoyping to get team customer feedback as early and as often as possible.
My final deliverables typically include a detailed UI spec, HTML prototype, and/or client presentation. My specs include details such as error messages, keyboard behavior, and dimensions for screen components.
Do you have a product, prototype, or design already underway? I draw upon methods such as heuristic evaluation, in-person and remote usability testing, and web analytics to deconstruct usability issues.
Designing for Sales
Sometimes great software doesn’t do itself justice when it comes to free trials and pilot projects. I look at ways to get new customers to engage with your product and to quickly discover how it can solve their problems. Read More...
I’m big on making the UI self-explanatory and perhaps providing quality sample data and realistic hands-on exercises. Video introductions and big help bubbles are seldom the first thing I’d suggest.
Making it Ship
I get the conversation with developers happening early, to understand constraints and to note action items for technical research. Agile, Lean, and iterative processes work to make design informed by technology and vice-versa.
And to make sure software ships right, I include time in my schedule to test builds and make sure the design has been fully understood.
Featured Project: Application UX Design for PluralEyes 3
In this project, we aspired to have videographers precisely synchronize hundreds of video and audio clips within seconds or minutes – with an application that would be dead-simple to use. We accomplished that in a hit product with consistent 5-star customer ratings, and even made it fun to watch. Read more about what customers and reviewers are saying, or see how we did it in the PluralEyes 3 Case Study.
PluralEyes is simply one of the best inventions since digital video.
For over six years, I was the sole user experience designer for XMetaL Author and XMetaL Reviewer, tools for authoring and reviewing XML documents.
Although I’m not primarily a web developer, I occasionally do web development projects. It helps to keep my technical skills up, and it gets useful things done.
RSA: Realizing the Mobile Enterprise
Recommendations for executives on enterprise mobile device security
RSA: Transforming Information Security
Report on trends in security technologies, especially big data analytics, security UX, and cloud security
Wikipedia: Sea Otter
A Today’s Featured Article on the Wikipedia main page, rated as among the top 0.1% of Wikipedia articles by quality
CyberArk: The Balancing Act
Whitepaper series on enterprise privileged account security, based on interviews with Chief Information Security Officers from Global 1000 companies
Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky
Senior User Experience Designer
About Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky
I am an ever-curious researcher and problem-solver. In 15 years in the software development industry, I have designed sophisticated products ranging from video production software to school administration systems. I’ve taken diverse roles in addition to UX, including technical communicator, sales engineer, and cross-vendor standards committee member.
In software, there is rarely such a thing as “keeping” things simple; you have to wrestle to understand complex things and put effort into making them simple.
In my spare time, I can be found hiking with my husband and daughter, or cycling with our toddler in a bike trailer. I’m proud of having taken a leadership role in launching the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (now known as HUB), and Wanderung Outdoor Recreation Society. I have a B.Sc. with a major in chemistry from McGill University and have always loved science.
Paul Prescod, Director of Application Development, JustSystems Canada, Inc.
Su-Laine is a great analytical thinker with the ability to see software, documentation and systems from the point of view of customers and end-users. She has deep understanding of both the psychology and technology of technical publishing.
Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software (acquired by Red Giant Software)
PluralEyes 3 was a major rewrite of an established product, and we turned to Su-Laine to help us develop an entirely new user experience. She quickly grasped the concept, designed user studies and took the lead in creating several options for an overall approach. As we worked through the development phase, we particularly appreciated her ability to both see the big picture and keep track of the details. She was a pleasure to work with, flexible when we asked her to be, but not afraid to state a strong opinion when she needed to. We’d be happy to work with her again on any project, from start to finish.
Tim Groeneveld , VP Sales & Marketing, JustSystems Canada Inc.
Su-Laine is an expert in granular design work and she can contribute to the strategic visual design direction. She is detail oriented and has a high commitment to turning out the best product possible. If you need someone who has excellent UI design skills I highly recommend that you contact Su-Laine.
Elizabeth Snowdon, Senior Solutions Architect, ImageX Media
I hired Su-Laine to work on a usability evaluation for a very demanding client with a complex website and an aggressive schedule. Su-Laine worked diligently to deliver her work on time and on budget. Most of all, her report and presentation by all accounts exceeded client expectations. Su-Laine is a great communicator and a self-starter. I would hire her back again and look forward to working on another project together.