Accreditation Made Friendly

 

The Council on Accreditation accredits over 2,000 private and public organizations and programs that serve more than 7 million individuals and families in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The COA standards cover over 60 program types from Child, Youth, and Family Services to approval from the Hague Convention. COA reached out to Busse Design to help them turn this important, yet complex accreditation process into a more intuitive, user-friendly process.

 

 

Busse Design held several Discovery sessions with the COA team so that we could immerse ourselves in the user’s and COA’s needs in the accreditation process. As a first UX deliverable, we produced an Application Map to re-organize the application into a more intuitive structure from the user’s perspective. We found that it was best to organize this application by process steps as these steps were central to the user’s actions.  

Once we established the governing navigation pattern--Process Steps--we moved on to visualizing key screens and flows. To make the accreditation process more intuitive, we provided users with an overview of the process and where they were in that process. Moreover, we learned that users typically review the standards before they provide the accreditation info, so we created separate areas in the application: One area where they review the standards, and another area focused on providing the accreditation info. And, most important, we reduced the amount of text and leveraged visual design to provide waypoints within the process.  

And because the COA web application is run on the Salesforce.com platform, Busse Design created custom HTML and CSS for select screens that could be more easily brought into the platform. 


 

NETGEAR spreads its wings with Arlo

 

When NETGEAR, the leader in home networking devices, decided to expand into the Smart Home space, they reached out to Busse Design to help develop a new identity for their new product family. 

 

 

At the start of this project, the client’s team had already settled on the name “Arlo” so our task was to design an identity around it, and convey the brand personality traits: Trustworthiness, credibility, friendliness, and approachability.  Arlo is about giving its users a feeling of assuredness and peace of mind, so we felt that it was necessary to explore objects and animals that could be personified, as knowing “someone” is there communicates this feeling of being taken care of.  When you think of Arlo, you want to think of a trusty companion that has your back.  

Moreover, we wanted to make sure the Arlo functional benefits were also communicated through the brand: It should feel easy, uncluttered, and clean, just like the user’s experience with the technology.

Looking at the competitive space, we noticed the same cleanliness in brand design, but noticed a lack of this personality: Competitive brands focused on the devices  themselves or the technology.  Arlo stands apart as it is about the relationships the technology affords: Knowing that friends and family are okay by being able to stay aware of activities in the home.

In our exploration of the brand, we provided a wide variety of concepts that communicated personality, simplicity, and easiness.  We provided concepts that ranged from animals to anthropomorphized homes, all with the goal of creating an identity that met the brand objectives. We presented these concepts in a variety of contexts and colors to help the NETGEAR team envision how this brand could be used at launch and grow in the future.

In the end, we all landed on the hummingbird concept.  It was ideal as it communicated the simplicity, maneuverability of the devices, and most important of all, it was friendly and approachable.  As an added benefit of this mark through the use of “WiFi wings”, we were able to communicate the “100% wire free” value proposition of many of the Arlo products.  The hummingbird stands apart from its competitors--Arlo is a trustworthy companion to keep you apprised of the  happenings in your home; not just some piece of technology that sits on a shelf.


 

Empowering Merchandisers with a Clean Application

 

Baynote, had a powerful recommendations engine that delivered a personalized experience for their retailer customers’ consumers, but retailers had a difficult time configuring the engine without the help of Professional Services.  They engaged Busse Design to create a user-friendly interface that could easily be configured by merchandisers; provide high-level reporting and analytics for infrequent users, which could also be accessed via a tablet; and create a scalable framework that would accommodate new solutions in the future.

 

 

After an intensive Discovery session where Baynote’s Professional Services team walked us through the web application, we evaluated the application’s terminology for key concepts and found that they were geared to developers.  We presented a new conceptual paradigm that would resonate with merchandisers and presented a more intuitive overarching application structure in the form of an Application Map.

We then worked through the major workflows to completing core configuration tasks in the application by providing flow diagrams and wireframes.  Once these were approved by the client, we participated in Baynote customer interviews using a clickthrough prototype of the revised application.  We then made minor modifications to the flows.

In addition to improving usability by addressing the overall interaction models, Busse Design provided a new look and feel for the application that leveraged Baynote’s corporate branding guidelines.  Once Baynote approved the wireframes for the application’s page structure and framework, our graphic designers provided various visual design concepts to choose from.  The goal of this design was to create a clean interface that would integrate well with any retailer’s websites and products that would be pulled into the application.

After Baynote selected a design direction, we created the graphics for the remaining application templates and provided functional front-end HTML templates, using HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery.

In the end, Baynote was able to deliver Baynote VUE, a powerful, user-friendly recommendations engine that can easily be configured and managed by merchandisers.


Instart Logic was in the process of redesigning their website when they approached us with a unique technical challenge: Set up a Drupal Content Management System that makes use of their CDN technology for quickly loading high quality images, while still allowing their Marketing department to easily update the site’s content in Drupal.

 

We worked very closely with the client and their design agency of record, 1185, to get an understanding of the new site design and the required functionality.  The design required several large animated images in a homepage slider. Time to first byte (or how quickly a web server responds to a request) was critical. While site design questions were being worked out, Busse Design developed a prototype of the rotating image functionality on the homepage.  The prototype enabled the client and the design team to understand technical trade-offs with specific design choices and guided the team to a more feasible homepage design that met the objectives.

We further collaborated with 1185 to refine the responsive web design for tablet and mobile screen sizes.  Our collaboration ensured that the website’s design adjusted in such a way that future changes to the design will inherit the responsiveness and the code is easily maintainable.

At the end of the project, Busse Design provided Instart Logic with a user guide and an educational session on how to update their particular implementation of Drupal.

 

After the softlaunch last Friday, this morning the new website went live and is now attracting curious eyes and traffic, including our competition. Hereby we want to thank the Busse Design team for the outstanding job on the development and making this website a reality, including implementing the crazy “never-been-there-before” design ideas and meeting our project timeline.

I want to thank, in particular, Werner for making the impossible possible. This site was a complex beast with a short implementation timeline. I appreciate that Werner joined in early in the project with advice, always thinking ahead — while at the same time keeping a keen eye on the launch deadline. We could not have done this without him!

We really enjoyed working with Busse Design, and would recommend you guys anytime.
— Corinna Krueger, Head of Corporate Marketing, Instart Logic

Monotype is the leading global provider of type design, type technology, and type expertise, had conducted a brand study and determined that their user base did not truly understand who they are and what they do. They engaged Busse Design to help them design their new, responsive corporate website in a phased approach. The first phase presented a very aggressive timeline with only 11 weeks from start to launch, which included the development of the CMS by DevBridge as well as the creation of mostly new content by Libretto. Busse Design’s assignment was to completely overhaul the Monotype website information architecture, and create a new visual brand identity based on Monotype’s existing mood boards.

 


After an extensive Discovery phase, our first step was to create a Global Site Map that identified content that would be available in the first phase, second phase and in the future, and called out any differences among a desktop and mobile versions of the website.  With this overall architecture in place, Monotype was able to begin their content plan with their content partner, Libretto.  Our lead information architect then created UI Sketches or wireframes for key pages of the site.  Because the plan was for the site to be ultimately built using responsive design, we provided UI Sketches for the pages across all breakpoints for the various platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet).  Moreover, our hi-fi UI Sketches provided the content team with word counts for the website.

Once the layout and structure were locked, Busse Design provided Monotype with three visual design directions that explored various approaches to imagery, type usage, and scale; and ranged from a conservative approach to a more dynamic, innovative option for all breakpoints.  Monotype selected a design approach with some revisions, and we applied the design to all the remaining desktop pages for the first phase.  At the same time, DevBridge, Monotype’s development partner, began building out the desktop website.  

Busse Design also provided HTML Templates for a website hosted by a third party.

Our project with Busse Design was a great success. They quickly understood our new rebrand guidelines, and provided us with a multitude of creative solutions. Busse Design fully grasped the big picture, and at the same time was flexible to help us with our phased development needs. They integrated seamlessly with our third party development company, and worked efficiently and collaboratively with our internal Project Lead in Germany. The end result was a multi-platform site that was delivered on time and on budget.
— Lisa Landa, VP, Corporate Marketing, Monotype

Delta Dental saw that there was a need for their members to access their dental insurance plan information via their mobile devices and decided to build a separate HTML 5 web application. They contacted Busse Design to help create the user experience and develop the front-end framework for the application.  

We initiated the project with an in-depth discovery session to understand the breadth and depth of the desktop web experience; the limitations, both technical and regulatory, that required consideration; and the feature adjustments and enhancements that Delta Dental wanted to bring to the mobile web application. Our lead information architect provided a detailed Application Map identifying the overall application's architecture, content and functional modules, and interaction flow initiation points. After a couple of iterations, we were able to get consensus from the client stakeholders, and lock the structure. We then moved on to delivering UI Sketches to define the structure of key screen templates of the application.   

Once the template structure was locked, we initiated three phases simultaneously: (1) We began the Visual Design phase, in which our designers explore multiple design concepts to create the look and feel of the application; (2) our production director began building an HTML 5 prototype to demonstrate the interaction; (3) our information architects developed interaction flows, which describe how users complete various tasks.   

At the conclusion of the project, Busse Design provided Delta Dental with production-quality front-end HTML5 templates tested in both iPhone and Android environments. 

The Busse team made the whole project a fun and well organized experience – together we turned boring dental data into a beautiful and relevant user experience for our customers. We’ve already gotten great feedback on the ease of use and clean design. They are project management masters, tech and design wizards and just great people to work with.
— Kathryn Ross, Director of Marketing, Delta Dental

Sybase's mobile division, Sybase365, had two powerful mobile marketing tools that they recognized would be more widely-used if they were made more usable and merged into one under the Brand Mobiliser name. The first application allowed marketing managers to create and launch mobile CRM campaigns; while the second application, the Application Builder, offered compelling functionality, but could only be used by Sybase's internal Engineers. The Application Builder creates complex interactions between various back-end systems, which ultimately allows consumers/end-users to send keywords to short codes to perform a variety of actions, such as paying for parking or checking their bank balance via SMS.  

Sybase approached Busse Design to help them rearchitect both applications so that they would fit together in a logical and cohesive manner, and redesign each application so that would be easier to use. After extensive Discovery sessions with Sybase, Busse Design provided a detailed Application Map to rationalize the overall architecture of the newly merged applications, calling out specific user roles and all starting points for user workflows. We then worked with Sybase to create a new interaction model for the Application Builder so that it moved from Engineering-centric display of nesting if/then statements to a more user-friendly diagrammatic display.   

After working with Sybase to provide various interaction flows and screen templates, we provided functional front-end HTML Templates to allow Sybase's developers to integrate the design with their application quickly and easily. 


Tableau Software, innovators in visualizing data analytics, contacted Busse Design to help them promote and design their new desktop product, Tableau Public. Tableau Public allows users to create and publish visualizations ( "vizes" ) to the web where others can manipulate data views and reports, and repost them, encouraging viral sharing of these unique data views. Busse Design's challenge was to optimize the interface so that both power users and novices could easily publish their vizes and interact with those created by other users. We achieved this by simplifying the workflow and visually prioritizing user actions on each screen. Finally, we updated the Tableau Public landing page at www.tableaupublic.com to showcase the product's range of possibilities. 

Busse was a perfect fit for our new product launch. They took the time to understand what we needed, had just the right amount of project management, and gave us a sweet homepage and website design. They’re very strong on both interaction design and pure visual design, which can be hard to find in a design firm.
— Ellie Fields, Director of Product Marketing, Tableau Software