The biggest misconception about design is that it is about making things pretty and presenting things in an attractive way. Although this definition of design might seem fair enough, it tragically misses some absolutely critical ideas.
Design is better thought of as the sum total of everything that a talented team does to coax the desired series of user actions, at the right time, and in the right sequence. It is really about helping software owners to achieve their practical and meaningful objectives, such as increases in revenue, operational efficiency, and ROI.
It starts with a process of gathering information, doing research about the audience, analyzing results, and then systematically applying the findings throughout the entire development process. When done correctly, the ideal design solution emerges from a pool of data that explores four essential factors (see diagram).
When only a handful of users will be touching a finished software product, the essential task could be really simple, but as the user community expands into the thousands or even millions, the sophistication of the situation increases, and achievement of objectives then demands a more rigorous and systematic approach -- the more scientific and methodical, the better.
Portland Webworks has the proven experience and expertise to provide all of the necessary services to ensure that design is ultimately a dramatic success. Our in-house designers use a research-grounded approach to produce professional design deliverables, including but not limited to wireframes, art treatments, comprehensive design briefs, screen mockups, and interactive prototypes.