Software engineering augmented with design skills
More than a decade ago, I was part of a team that completed a software solution for a client. It was an impressive system that worked flawlessly under strict performance requirements. Our client was delighted with how much his new system allowed him to save in operational costs.
However, the workers who needed to use the system weren’t impressed.
Under the hood, the system was a jewel of software engineering. From the outside, it wasn’t especially easy to use or attractive.
At that point, I realized that the application wasn’t too far from perfection: it just needed the right dose of user experience optimization and graphic design to shine as it deserved.
So after having obtained my software engineering degree, I added a few design and publishing courses to complete my skillset.
I’m glad I did so, because this broader knowledge has allowed me to better cooperate with designers, provide valuable user experience consulting, contribute to all the areas of the software product engineering process, and deliver solutions that don’t just work flawlessly, but that also look good and feel good to use.
Where design skills come in handy
I have extensive experience designing interfaces, crafting illustrations, retouching photographs and creating brand images. I’m skilled with pretty much all products of the Adobe family (especially with Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Premiere and After Effects.)
But it goes beyond the specific tools. It is hard to imagine a single day when my visual communication skills didn’t come into play in a positive way.
If we stop for a second, and we look at our desk, at the objects we carry, at our gadgets, and even at the clothes we’re wearing, we can see how much we’re attracted to things that look good and feel good. Same applies in a digital world where there are users at the other side of the applications: that’s why user experience optimization is such an important part of the success of the whole engineering project. And you can make a difference in the final user experience through pretty much all phases of the software development process.
At the beginning of projects, after understanding the specific requirements of our clients, we start by drafting the wireframe of their interfaces. There’s already composition and visual attention logic behind this – plus a vision of how the final system would look.
The project advances by refining this first draft. We then give shape to the final graphics that will be powered by our underlying code. The idea is creating an interface that is aesthetically appealing, easy-to-use, and visually balanced, consistent with their brand image.
When the structure is ready, we enter the grounds of content creation, data representation, and even modern web design trends and effects. We move from a solution that is correct to a solution that is attractive and enjoyable to use.
Even with a finished project, there’s documentation, user guides, video intros, new proposals, and a broad set of related presentations, that wrap up a job well done, where graphic design plays a strong part.
Do you need a software project that works well and looks great? I can help you make design and engineering meet, so don’t hesitate to contact me.