Interaction and visual design
User friendliness and usability are characteristics that are products of interaction design. Functional styling and esthetics are core to visual design. Both kinds of design are at the heart of Stroomt.
However, both forms of design can only become concrete when a clear concept has been created. Therefore most of our design projects start with concepting.
Additionally, we think it’s crucial that context is considered, at the very least. That can be the context of using a software product, or the context of the processes and systems that are impacted by a design. We include context in our approach.
Stroomt performs user centered design, so we think it’s crucial to involve the end user with creating a product as much as possible. This can only be done by user research.
The most effective way of gathering input from end users is by doing research within the context of usage. This kind of research could look like anthropology at times, because most products we design have an effect on people’s behaviour.
There are obviously the more classic ways of gathering user input as well, like interviews, focus groups, surveys, etcetera.
During a design process we also prefer to do user testing (ao usability testing) in order to match the final product with actual users as much as possible. This may result in standard tests, but also quick testing, for instance during an agile project.
A design project can be concluded with the designs on screen, but because interaction and behaviour are often important factors, we recommend turning the design into a prototype.
A prototype helps to get good insights of the presentation and usage of the designed product. It also helps to instruct developers.
Service design is a set of methods that is aimed at the interactions of a user with the organization from which he uses a product or service. That may be a commercial product or a (governmental) service.
Ideally, the user has a consistent experience in each step of his so-called ‘customer journey’. That experience doesn’t appear out of the blue. You want to devise it and use it in each channel that the user gets into contact with. This can be a website or app, but may also be a service desk or social media outlet.
It is important to design the channels and channel switches, but if the processes and systems that sustain them don’t allow it, the experience will be shattered. The design should therefore be based on an integrated solution.