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- Jeff Bezos | Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.
- Henry Ford | The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
- Amelia Earhart | Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
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Pixel Perfect.

User Experience and User Interface Design

Because websites and apps need to be useful, and to be useful they need to be usable. To be usable they need to have a good interface and so everything comes full circle - that's why we're here.

Designing Your Perfect Website

Notice we said perfect up there in the title, not ideal or dream. That’s right, at M+Co, we don’t design the website of your dreams, and we won’t make your vision a reality. At least, not unless research shows that your dream is perfect.
That’s because we aim to create the results of your dreams and to design a user experience that generates happy customers and increased sales.
Big talk, we know. Luckily, we can walk the walk too.

Stroll with us through our design process to see for yourself…


First things first:

What exactly are we even talking about? If web design isn’t about breathing life into your dream site or app, then what the heck will you be paying us for?

User experience design (UX design) is based on the actual needs and behaviors of your users, which are then strategically aligned with your specific business goals. In other words, a UX designer’s goal is to increase the quality of your site’s user experience – you know, how a person feels about the interactions they have with your site or web app as they’re using it.

User interface design (UI design) then takes the UX research and design and begins to focus on how your site or app will look and operate. This includes everything from the site’s navigational flow to the colors and visual design. The UI designer’s goal is to make sure everything resonates with your users.

Not to Be Confused With:

Customer experience (CX), which includes every interaction a person has with an organization or brand – both digital and in-person.

CX should always be considered though, and your UX/UI design should be aligned with any established branding and messaging.

And so it begins.

➸ Step 1
Research, Research, and More Research

Our hero is Sherlock Holmes: he questioned everything and stomped out assumptions; he was an analyst-extraordinaire. And that is why we love this part of the process the most.

Great UX designers are great analysts. So, to start our design process, we make a commitment to seeing the world from your users’ perspectives. This means that we bust out our magnifying glasses and start seeking information on their needs, goals, motivations, and behaviors (such as how they are currently navigating your site, where they are getting hung up and, most importantly, how they feel about these interactions).

In-depth Interviews

Precise Online Surveys

Exhaustive User Testing

Accurate Persona Creation

Separate but Equal

When conducting user research, we know the difference between listening and observing, and we know how important both strategies are in developing the perfect site structure.

It’s Time to Define

persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behaviors or patterns when visiting a site, using a product, or making a purchasing decision.

➸ Step 2
Design Like the Wind

Okay, it’s more like a slight breeze…we’re going for perfect, after all, not rushed.

Now that we know how your users currently behave, we can design a customer journey that helps them find what they are looking for easily. This is generally referred to as the Information Architecture (IA) process; our team of UX sleuths will organize the hierarchy of your site and content, structuring and labeling it in such a way that allows users to reach their goal.

Once the IA process is complete, we can start with the wireframing process. Wireframes (visual representations of a website, software, or web app using a simple diagram) outline the different journeys we can take the user through. These templates will rarely contain color, images or styling, as they are meant to remove aesthetic distractions and allow us to focus on the site’s navigation and overall structure.

#Truth

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs


If your site or web app doesn’t work well, then you end up with frustrated customers and empty baskets.

➸ Step 2.5
Sharing (with the UI Team) is Caring

This is when our superstar UI designers converge upon your site: after reviewing the completed research and studying the approved wireframes, they begin the prototyping phase.

A prototype is a draft version of your site that brings you as close as possible to an accurate representation of your user interface, as seen across all sizes and platforms. It allows you to interact with your site’s design in real time and can be used to gather additional user feedback and reactions.

And that’s why we call this “Step 2.5,” because we intend on making any additional changes needed during this phase, and will probably make a lot, including:

"Make it pretty"

At M+Co, we don’t do flashy user interfaces for the sake of sparkle. Designs focused on looks over functionality are only vanity projects if users can’t understand how to navigate the site.

Our job is to understand your users and create something beautiful and user-friendly.


Typography

Which sizes, fonts, and text arrangements help increase scanability and readability?


Spacing

Are the interface elements evenly distributed?


Colors

Was the color scheme laid out consistently? Do the chosen colors clash in particular patterns?


Layout

Can users navigate and interact with the pages easily? Is it consistent throughout the site to ensure efficiency?


Usability

Were elements from popular sites employed wherever possible to make users feel more comfortable?

➸ Step 3
Testing, Testing. 1. 2. 3.

Remember how we just mentioned additional feedback? Here’s where we get it. Using the prototypes developed in Step 2.5, we essentially return to Step 1 and your end-users, in order to check functionality and usability before we jump into full-blown development.
User testing can be conducted through a variety of means:

Batter Up

We let you guide this step and determine how deep of a dive you would like us to take. After all, research shows that 85% of usability problems can be found by testing just 5 users.


Choose the research you’d like completed and let our UX/UI detectives get to work! We’ll make sure everything is functioning exactly as intended and that your users can navigate intuitively and efficiently. And, if they can’t, we’ll change things up until they can.

In-person Observations

Usually a moderated one-on-one usability session that allows you to take note of every action the user takes, rather than simply gathering data on their thoughts or opinions.

Remote User Testing

Usability sessions where the participants, facilitators, and observers are all separate, but online. Fair warning: while convenient, this format will dilute your interactions with the users and it can be harder to analyze the data.

Questionnaires/Surveys

A form consisting of detailed questions, preferably based on persona interviews and potential user problems, that is sent to a sample of your target audience.

A/B Version Testing

Also known as split testing, this assessment compares two live versions of your site or web app. However, version testing should only be conducted if you already have a product or service to improve, not if you’re still designing one.

➸ Step 4
Send in the Developers

The last step – the production phase – has finally arrived.
This is where the revised and approved prototypes finally come to life, and where our developers start to live and breathe coffee. Down to the pixel, our developers are experts at working with our designers to custom code every detail in your design, leaving you with the perfect website that’s guaranteed to bring you increased conversions!

A Horse of a Different Color

While UX and UI designers are two-sides of the same coin, developers are an entirely different coin altogether. Whereas our designers focus on the look, feel and functionality of your site or web app, our developers focus on its technical side and specialize in coding your perfect site from scratch.

Give it to you straight?

A high-level view of our process can be seen here, in case you didn't feel like reading all 4 steps.
We talked about research, how we design, what it takes for all sides of the business to work together, and how we make sure to test the application before it goes live.
What's your big idea?  

A breath of fresh air.

We thoroughly enjoyed that stroll, and hope you did too! If you’re ready to take the next few steps, fill out our contact form and discover what M+Co can do for you!