GfK Design Support

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UI Agency Design Work

Websites, Apps, Software and Call Centers

Doing work for UserCentric  was like coming full circle. They had been a a company Scout had brought in to do user testing for a project we bid for at the New York Times. Years later they had grown to one of the leading industry forerunners for User Design and Experience. It was no surprise that in 2012 GfK acquired UserCentric. GfK is one of the leading market research companies in the world with the addition of UserCentric, GfK was a global UX company, with more than 150 UX consultants worldwide.

When Scout 2.0 came back onto the scene, UserCentric would call on us for help with overflow. The relationship still continues today. Projects we have done for them include: websites, software design, touch screen design, call centers and documentation for in-house developers.

Since our work was for GfK’s clients the images displaying the work have been sanitized under NDA. I have not included samples of all the work we have done for the agency, but have only included the highlights that were approved for my sharing.

Bi-Lingual User Portal for Multiple Devices

GfK’s client, an Arab Nation, was looking to create a portal for their citizens to use. They wanted a modern look, flat design with a metro feel to the new site, which would be responsive since users would be accessing the portal via their  mobile devices and tablets. I learned a lot about designing for an Arabic culture on this project. Mainly that their constituents live by their cell phones. Your cell phone is as important to them as our social security number is to us. So to have a portal that could be accessed via cell was crucial. In their country all daily transactions are done through the government. The Government maintains your insurance, your banking, so from this one portal you can see you bank account, who you have sponsored a visa for and if you have any traffic tickets!

Another important feature was the portal needed to be bilingual, for expatriates working there needing an English-language format as well as an Arabic version for native language speakers. Working with Arabic Fonts in Adobe CS was interesting, it presented its own challenges. Arabic writing is from right to left we had to work with Photoshop to get the layers to behave properly and to display the font legibly. This also meant on the Arabic versions of the portal the user interface would also be on the right side. An interesting leap for an English-oriented designer where are our eyes are trained in the standard “F” pattern to UI — an Arabic reader is not.

Working with GfK is a great opportunity to learn the latest in UI Principles and Trends. I was able to translate the team’s wireframes into highly polished designs. Please see the screens below to view the final product.

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Touch Screen Instrument Panel

GfK’s client was doing a big upgrade to their product which serviced the science industry. They had originally come to GfK for the usability research and now wanted to use that data to expand on their product. The client was moving from a push button panel to a touch screen. The change of technology would also change the original design specifications of the interface. The screen resolution increased as well as the amount of “real estate” now available  on the new touch display screen. This upgrade was a significant physical upgrade and a significant software upgrade as well for their customers. GfK’s goal was to make the transition to the new user interface as seamless as possible for their users.

I was able to translate the team’s wireframes into highly polished designs as well as maintain the standard features from the previous release. Please see the screen below to view the final product.

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Design for Call Center Transactions

The wonderful part of working with an Agency like GfK is I am constantly learning new aspects to UI design. The research and testing they provide for their clients is always teaching me something new about the best and simplest ways information can be conveyed. Transactional Design is about simplicity, but you don’t want to make it so streamlined that important steps are gleaned over. The hardest part of breaking down a process is remembering to include all the nuances that can be tied to a single design point.

There can be a point where it is information overload when decision points can have multiple outcomes. The best practice is to design an interaction that guides the user through the process without being overwhelmed by choices. I worked with the UI team to convert their wireframes into polished designs.

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