Get your website, app, or software product off to a good start.
Stop me if you’ve heard any of this:
You or your developers fixed high-severity bugs. But the hard work began when you thought you had a release candidate. You wanted to launch.
Then that long pause: “Hmmm, what if we…?”
You lost that argument. A stakeholder kept “educating” you on how the users would behave. He didn’t realize that big, late changes take a lot of time and effort. Your deadline didn’t help.
After release, your inbox was full of UI and UX bug alerts. Even if you fixed each one, you’d just get more. You kept building useless features that hurt your product, just because someone said you couldn’t push back.
Your unhappy customers left, and you had to work extra hard for your sales to even remain the same.
A large global company now makes big business decisions faster
Their intranet application needed to accommodate new features and a very wide variety of users. After I proposed some simple changes, we created a navigation tree that let their users find what they needed more successfully, with less trial and error.
“David was outstanding to work with. He is very well versed in the UX space, but not only on making good designs but understanding the context of who are the users, what are their needs, [and] what are the different tension points in serving different users.
“On top, he was super quick in turning around the work without compromising quality of his recommendations. I will be hiring him again, especially for my projects that are more challenging to solve.”
- a manager responsible for this web application
What if this were true instead?
With user data, your role in feature discussions could go beyond “That’ll take too long to implement.” You could ship, understanding that your product solves its users’ needs and makes business sense. Your risk would decrease because your users throughout the world would have had a proper say in your new release.
Your real target audience would turn into your product’s biggest fans. Others would realize that the product isn’t for them.
With a more intuitive UI, you would get fewer bug reports and last-minute changes. You would take more pride in your work.
I helped a major county government reorganize their site
Kindred Technology Group, a design and development agency, launched a redesign for DeKalb County, Georgia, in fall 2016. The site has over 2,400 pages. By reorganizing their content, I gave them a solid foundation for the rest of their effort.
“Top Notch! David’s commitment and attention on this project was unparalleled. He helped us sort through 1000’s of pages of content to create an amazing product.”
- Kenley Obas, Co-Founder & CEO, Kindred Technology Group
Ok, this sounds idealistic. How do we get you there?
In 3-5 weeks, we can systematically understand your audience and design a round of new ideas or improvements, to help your product convert and retain its target audience. That lets you achieve better alignment with your leaders, stakeholders, and/or clients.
Most Research & Design Demos will see us discover around 8-10 types of people (personas) who might use your product. We pick one to be your primary audience. We discard any who don’t have unique needs.
Then I would generate typically 100+ design ideas for the remaining personas. I would perform a time-boxed iteration of sketches and wireframes using the ideas we select.
We can also add a usability study to give you more confidence that our design is on the right path for development.
This is a big commitment. To help these projects go as smoothly as possible, I now give my clients who order them a free copy of UX for Development Shops: Owner/Manager Edition.
And to reduce risk, I offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you decide our project is not working out or you are not satisfied with my services, I will waive labor fees for the current project phase or accept a portion of those fees that reflect your level of satisfaction. You decide.
DC Trails used the Research & Design Demo to
improve their reputation
“I worked with David on a mobile app project for about three months. He impressed me so much with his extensive knowledge of mobile UX, his strong work ethic and his professionalism that I decided to work with him exclusively on all UX-related projects going forward.
“I've worked with many UX professionals over the span of my career, but I've never worked with anyone as talented or reliable as David. One thing that sets David apart is the fact that he has a software development background. As a software developer myself, that meant that I didn't have to explain basic things like what a server is or what an API does and we could directly dive right into the product.
“David does a great job at balancing advocating for the user and keeping business goals front and center. If you're looking for someone who can come up with a great solution that will serve both business and user needs, David is your guy. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, David is kind and patient and fun to work with. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with him on an ongoing basis."
- Pietro Rea, founder, Sweetpea Mobile
Ready To Get The Most Out Of Your Product?
I can take on one new Research & Design Demo client at a time. If you’re that one client, I want to make sure you get the best possible results.
While I’d like to think I can do that with anyone, not everyone is a good fit for working with me. This Demo is a great fit for you if:
You want us to communicate openly and honestly.
You’re willing and able to begin implementing my recommendations.
You’re exploring several candidates for a larger project, or your budget won’t let us work together longer.
- Your timeline allows 3-5 weeks for research and design before you start front-end development.
"I have some questions first..."
“We barely have enough budget to hire a developer.”
If you build the wrong product for your audience and can’t get users, you won’t recoup development costs.
If you really can only hire a developer, you can get quick wins from my upcoming ebook, UX for Development Agencies & Independent Developers (working title).
Won’t this make me use you for the rest of my design work?
No. As long as you’ve paid in full, you may give any file I generate for your project to any consultant you hire.
What happened to the visual design and code?
I focus on defining and solving the right problem. I can recommend visual designers and developers I know who have worked with several leading web properties.
Can’t I just find a UI/UX designer on a bid site to do this for me for a fifth of your price?
If by a UI/UX designer you mean someone who…
- Understands your real business problem first
- Researches and models your actual and potential users
- Rigorously determines your best target audience
- Recommends a platform and design decisions based on user data, not preferences
- Determines why your users would switch to you or your competitors
- Avoids rework by keeping design fidelity low for as long as needed
- Keeps the product on the right track with usability studies
- Relates to developers in their language
- Guides the strategy of your product into future releases
… then people like that are probably hard to find there.
But I’m guessing that you’re meaning someone who will take a solution that you’ve already decided on, jump into Photoshop, and design it right away. That’s not what I offer.
What happens after we start?
After we agree to a start date and you pay, here’s what I’ll do:
- Review your website and any existing artifacts.
- Learn about your users via surveys or interviews. I’ll need your help with getting participants.
- Create personas from the research data and determine the best target audience.
- Generate design ideas and down-select them based on expected value to your users, value for your business, and technical feasibility. I’ll need your input.
- Create sketches and wireframes for our selected ideas. For cost certainty for both of us, this is one time-boxed iteration. If you ordered a usability study, I will have 5 users from a panel do that study on the wireframes. I’ll send you a summary of key findings. (Panel sites can accommodate NDAs and password protection.)
Additional iterations are available separately. So are custom Strategy & Design engagements.
Who’s doing the project?
I’m David Parmelee, a business-minded digital strategy consultant based in the eastern United States. Previously a software developer, I help developers create web apps, websites, and mobile apps that balance the needs of users, businesspeople, and developers. My recent clients include a large global company, a mobile development studio, and a bootstrapped startup whose founder is technical.
Throughout a Research & Design Demo, I’ll be your point of contact. You’ll work directly and exclusively with me from start to finish.