Usability and User Interface Design
Colombus UI Design Principles
Colombus highlights and unites the core principles of a highly usable solution, and practically realizes them on practice in application UI:
- Effectiveness & Visibility — each user’s action should produce a result. Effective UI increases customer satisfaction and employee productivity, so we carefully treat both frontend and backend usability. Colombus adds maximum visibility to objects, so that users can easily identify the function and take a correct action spending minimum time to accomplish a task.
- Performance — in addition to careful software architecture design which is vital to the application performance, our experts tune the application interface for quick response by implementing RIA technologies and features.
- Consistency and predictability — once a function is learnt users reasonably anticipate that the next time it will behave identically. We ensure that the similar looking functionality produces similar results throughout the entire application.
We utilize a highly transparent iterative approach that allows achieving better usability results and increasing application productivity. The following 4 phases describe how we handle UI design tasks within the development process:
Requirements and Conceptual Design
Colombus delivers user-centered UI design paying great attention to the analysis of use cases and business scenarios, highlighting target user groups and identification of critical success factors.
At this stage Colombus develops data models, entity relationship schemes and workflow diagrams to eliminate possible vision gaps and serve as guidelines for further project stages.
Depending on the business goals, functional scope and complexity level of the project Colombus delivers a number of prototype artifacts:
- Static Mockups
- Clickable Wireframes
- Fully Designed Prototype
The professional software prototyping is also available at Colombus as a separate service.
UI Programming Approach
At the development stage the Colombus’ goal is to deliver functional interfaces as early as possible to leave enough space for possible changes and improvements.
Actual interface implementation depends strongly on the chosen technologies, so Colombus strives to cut project costs by utilizing best-practices for the particular technology and get maximum technology benefits / comply with restrictions at the earlier conceptual and prototyping phases.
Usability and UI Testing
The Colombus QA team executes business scenarios and use cases to detect interface issues or inconsistencies that distract and mislead users from arriving at their goals. Colombus utilizes several testing methodologies and options in order to minimize possible issues at the earliest project stages, enable quick response to changes and organic refinery.
- Prototype Testing
- Iterative Testing
- Acceptance testing
The professional software testing is also available at Colombus as a separate service.
In most cases (for some types of web apps UI has a very minor importance or even doesn’t require UI at all) visual design is an integral part of web application development project.
Colombus always keeps in mind that visual design is a vital tool to increase usability by fastening interface learning, memorability and consistency, and provide additional value to the application making its usage enjoyable.
The Colombus graphic design team works in close collaboration with analysts and usability testers, providing high quality results.
All the layouts, forms and their elements and controls produced by Colombus designers are tailored to easy HTML slicing, thus avoiding expensive efforts for implementing visuals to the application engine.