SEEDHEAD is a Sunshine Coast and Brisbane based graphic design service for small businesses and sole traders working in any market anywhere in Australia.
CUSTOMER FOCUSED DESIGN
Seedhead designs with the user in mind at all stages of the design process. Design is not only about functionality or aesthetics, it is also about how a customer feels when using your product or service. The best designs are those that work in harmony – they are function well , look good and feel good to use. In order to design with the user in mind, it is necessary to follow best practice in the design process: research, design, built and test. Ideally this process is repeated over and over to continuously improve the usability of your designs, keeping your business up to standard.
Branding and Design Projects
Research is fundamental to good design. Without it, designers are designing in the dark. Research helps us understand and weigh up the issues. Sometimes the problems are not even known to the business owner as there are a myriad of ways that products and services can be used. Research gives busness owners real information that can be used to improve the experience for their customers, which can only be a good thing, right!
We can perform qualitative or quantitative research to garner information on your product or service. Generally the best research, although less objective, is qualitative research. For example asking your existing customers questions, using focus groups, or one on one interviews. Generally it is not a good idea to use people you know, it’s best to get non-biased opinions from the people who have been using your products or people who are in your target market.
You may be tempted to skip this step, however for a small investment, you will avoid costly design mistakes.
A & B Testing Two designs to see which one appeals or gets the better results.
Surveys One page surveys to your customer database.
Usabilty Testing – asking a customer to run though a series of tasks using your website or prototype to observe their progress through the website to discover the pain points (or delights) in the process. This progress is recorded and analysed. A report hightlighting the issues becomes a roadmap for improvements.
Focus Groups – Interviews and workshops with a sample of people in your customer target market. This could include a brainstorming session to discover issues, or solutions to known issues.
Seedhead’s creator, Paula Jayne, has designed for florists, photographers, artists, designers, accountants, educators, health practitioners, event and tourism operators and childcare centres.
- Brand Creation
- User Experience Design (UX Design) (Usability Tests, Journey Maps, Wireframes)
- Web Design
- Print Design
People don’t notice good design as much as they notice bad design.
Great, you’ve spent some time gathering intel on your customers issues with your products or service, now it is time to work on solving those issues.
A professional designer can add enormous value to your business. Value that lasts well beyond the initial money outlay. An experienced creative can help make the difference between a mediocre business and a thriving one.
A good design is not merely the visual elements. A good design draws all the research data together and designs according to the outcomes of that data. A good design involves marketing too – positioning statements and elements that align your product or service with the values of your users.
SCOPE OF DESIGN WORK AT SEEDHEAD
Branding & or Logo Branding from scratch, or a brand refresh. Depending on your budget and business needs, Seedhead can develop logos for small business with colour swatch guides, or a full brand development with a style guide and positioning statements.
WordPress Websites & Hosting Seedhead has chosen the popular software, WordPress as the design tool of choice, when developing websites. Website Prototypes. If you need a complex website, avoid costly redesigns by developing a prototype before the finished site is built. This can be as simple as an interactive wireframe of the main navigation, or a complex model showing branding and design elements in place. The great benefit of building a prototype is all the stakeholders can have a say during the process so buy in to the new system is high and ideas can be tested cheaply before investing in expensive high fidelity design work.
Marketing Collateral – All the extras that you need to promote your business, be it digital imagery or printed material, online or printed forms, any items that you use to communicate with your customers.
User Experience Research / Journey Mapping Seedhead can design your surveys, and run research groups and usability tests with your customers.
Building a product or application happens after the research is complete, design questions are answered and decisions are made. The better the prepatory work before the build, the better the outcome. Of course there are variables in effort needed depending on the complexity of the ‘problem’.
The best designs are barely noticed by your customers. All they know is that they feel in control, confident and smart using your product or service. They will trust it, use it again and recommend it to others.
Crutial for ensuring your customers feel good when using your product or service is the testing phase. This last stage of the design process is after the build, however in reality testing occurs in part throughout the design project, as ideas and mock ups are honed and checked. In the end testing may highlight areas that need to be tweaked. Businesses that are constanting making micro improvements all the way along are the business give the best user experience.
Testing really highlights how user friendly your product or service is. Testing is an elixir! Fixing small hiccups may be all you need to change a frustrated customer into a lifetime advocate.
Simply put, UX is a problem solving discipline. It can be a complex process involving many variables, however at the end of the day what you really want is a happy customer who comes back to you and refers others.
UX READING LIST
- The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman
- About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, Alan Cooper
- The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, Jesse James Garrett
- The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, Leah Buley
- Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, Jocelyn K. Glei, 99u
- A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, Donna Spencer
- Designing Together: The collaboration and conflict management handbook for creative professionals, Dan M. Brown
- Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences, Stephen Anderson
- 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, Susan Weinschenk
- Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden