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Holodance

Design Ethos & Process

Our basic philosophy is “one task, one click”. In other words, often the simplest architecture can provide the simplest solution. In this respect, we prefer “invisible” design solutions, where graphic design is not the only objective, but is a tool to represent application functionality.

All our designs are uniquely tailored to our customer's needs, and can be fully adapted and responsive to all devices, as individually required. In our work process, we effectively use a “4D” design system, a versatile system consisting of 4 structured phase, namely: Discovery, Development, Design and Delivery.

1 Discovery

We start with a preliminary analysis using various tools and models of all levels of thorough user requirements:

Vision

The customer answers a short questionnaire in order to define and specify in some detail their project concept: the main functional goals, business goals, user goals, and the project’s essential success metrics. The outcome of this process is one of the keys to the product being adopted by stakeholders.

Target audience (Personas)

A Persona is an artificial person, invented for the purpose of helping a designer understand the people who will be using their product. The purpose of personas (user archetypes) is to add empathetic focus to the design and portray a prospective user, separating You from Your Work. Personas are created to represent a set of characteristics found across many individuals. It helps to avoid the common practice of trying to design for all users.

A persona is an artificial person, invented for the purpose of helping a designer understand the people who will be using their product. The purpose of personas (user archetypes) is to add empathetic focus to the design and portray a prospective user, separating "you" from "your work". Personas are created to represent a set of characteristics found across many individuals. They help to avoid the common practice of trying to design for all users.

Personas are further employed to better understand what users want to accomplish, to describe key behaviors and decision making processes, an information browsing approach or a shopping mode. Different users interact differently because they have different intentions, context, knowledge, skills, needs or experience. Frequently a complex software system can be understood more easily if the user interface is depicted in a way that resembles something commonplace. The result of this process is a detailed description of one or more "average" users and their specific requirements.

User cases (Interaction scenario)

These tasks should demonstrate how users work with the system doing their everyday tasks. A user case is a typical interaction scenario between a user and a computer system. It's an effective bridge between the needs of requirement analysts, designer and system developers respectively. It constitutes a complete course of interaction that takes place between a user and the system, and describes the actual interaction between external users (or system actors) and a system through a particular interface. Whilst this cannot take the place of prototypes or flow diagrams, it can help in considering designs in more depth before prototyping begins.

User stories (system functionality)

A user story is a set of text documents that describe system functionality in detail to help a user understand what they can do in the system. The whole functionality of a future product is divided into simple steps. Each step has its own priority and response expected from the user. The list of functionalities overlaps with scenarios of interaction. They are similar in some respects to user cases, except they are not limited to describing a user interface. User stories talk about what needs to be done, whilst user cases relate how it works. When the time has come for creating user stories, the developer gets together with a customer. The customer is responsible for formulating their user stories. The developer may use a series of questions to assist the customer in this process (such as asking if some particular functionality is desired), but must be careful not to dominate the idea creation process.

2 Development

We start with a preliminary analysis using various tools and models of all levels of thorough user requirements:

Site map

This document is very important as it will help estimate how big the project is going to be and the path for all next movements.

Wireframes

This "visual" phase includes a set of graphic documents which describe the anticipated page layouts. A prototype with high graphic detail attempts to demonstrate exactly how the product is going to look, while a wireframe has low graphic detail since it primarily deals with site structure, and which feature goes where.

3 Design

The best information designs are never noticed. The interface becomes almost invisible and navigation is easy. For maximum functionality and legibility, your page and site design should be built on a consistent pattern of modular units that all share the same basic layout grids, graphic themes, editorial conventions and hierarchies of organisation.

The goal is to be consistent and predictable. Users should feel comfortable exploring the site, and confident that they can find what they need. The graphic identity of a series of pages in a website provides visual cues to the continuity of information.

4 Delivery

This phase includes an HTML—a set of clickable pages that simulates the real future system (without DB). This is the key phase of the process when the user interface can be seen, clicked through and discussed. With prototyping and usability testing, we can improve the cost efficiency of the development workflow, and this allows interface problems to be discovered at an early stage and thus major overheads on reworks avoided down the line.

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