User experience consultancy
Having a rather pragmatic approach to UX design, I find that traditional methods are not always the most convenient. Over the years, I’ve developed a method that leads to the desired outcome in the shortest time possible. For example, I tend to believe that personas are an overrated design tool, and have never seen an organisation being able to use them the way they are supposed to, as displayed on textbooks. I favour scenarios and stories that are focused on productivity.
I think of design as an instrument to make people’s life better, by offering the best possible solutions to address their problems and desires. Great design products must be considerate, rather than just work.
- User experience design.
- Usability best practices applied to specific contexts (i.e. e-commerce, mobile).
- Information architecture (incl. navigation, controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, SERP, SEO).
- Advanced prototyping.
- User research and product development.
- UX strategy.
- Interaction design, UI patterns
- Visual design and web typography
- Usability analysis and testing.
- Web analytics and usability metrics.
- Service design.
- Instructional design and educational.
- Metadata management.
- Entrepreneurship, lean startup.
I am a keen UX strategist, researcher and designer. I have plenty of experience shaping the interaction and UI guidelines, and making sure that all the stakeholders have a full understanding of the underlying principles. I am used to manage creative and production teams in a variety of contexts, from fast paced Agile environments to more traditional corporate set ups.
I can help you establish a design process that combines together user-centered and agile methodologies. I motivate clients to adopt flexible solutions that make it easy to make changes and adapt to the transformations in the market.
User research and testing
I conduct user research and interviews to understand the customers’ concerns, habits, goals and mental models. The material thus collected allows me to elicit user-centered and activity-centered requirements that translate into design solutions.
I run usability testing and participatory design sessions, in order to identify potential problems before the product goes into production. After release, I make sure a feedback loop with clients is established, to better connect the brand with the target audience, and keep improving the product/service.
I also carry out usability assessments based on usability best practices (heuristics, guidelines) and competitors analysis.
User interface design
This is how I bring value to the projects I am involved in:
- I create world-class interactive experiences that adapt to different distribution channels and devices.
- I am a well-rounded professional can blend together information architecture, interaction design, visual and non-visual communication.
- I dedicate part of my time (on a weekly basis) to staying up to date with the methods, tools and technology in the field of digital design.
- I have a keen eye for details.
- I am well-versed with usability best practices in specific contexts and environments, from e-commerce to social platforms, from intranets to mobile apps.
Highly interactive, annotated prototypes
Over the years I’ve been testing more than a hundread prototyping tools, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.
I favour interactive documentation that makes it easier for developers and all stakeholders to know how things are supposed to work, without ambiguity. Why write a wordy functional spec document that is separate from the product, when the product itself can self explain? Based on these ideas, I have developed a custom UX library called UX Map.
Besides being well-versed in creative work and graphic design as a hobby, I’ve studied visual design to learn more about the rules that influence perception. I pay attention to the look and feel and the emotional impact that the content is going to convey.
I take into consideration all aspects of visual communication, from typography to Gestalt principles, and make sure that visual elements reinforce functionality rather than create friction and cognitive overload.
Besides standard guidelines and best practices, I have dug into cognitive psychology to understand how human beings process information and take action.
I believe that interaction design and visual design are so interconnected that they should always be considered together. I have expressed my views on an article called Why interaction design should not replace visual communication.
My job as an information architect is to translate complex information into a coherent and easily understandable product architecture. The aspects that I can deal with include:
- Information organisation and retrieval: navigation patterns, controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, search results display and prioritisation.
- Search engine optimisation (not my main expertise, but I can make sure that things are set up properly, with regard to the UI).
- Semantics: ontologies and shared vocabularies that can facilitate findability.
Web analytics and usability metrics
Quantitative methods are essential tools in the hands of designers, but design should be based on informed decisions in the first place; data can reinforce design, but it cannot replace it. I’ve expressed my views on this in the popular article The tyranny of testing over design.
I can help you interpret the behaviour of your customers, track performance in the context of the greater web ecosystem, plan a well-thought strategy for data collection and analysis that goes beyond globally defined KPIs.
The right setup of usability metrics can help measure the user experience with a certain degree of accuracy, and make sure that key decisions are not based on assumptions.
Instructional design and educational
I have a meaningful experience as an author and UI designer for scientific and educational products, with focus on both content and presentation. I am very keen on getting involved in service design projects in the context of exhibitions, museums, multimedia, ebooks, etc.
Semantics and metadata management
Albeit not at a professional level, I am very interested in how technology can help create interfaces that are closer and closer to how humans think.
In the past I’ve been looking closely at industry standards such as RDF, topic maps, microformats, Docbook, DITA.