drawing of Janet

Hi, I'm Janet. I've enjoyed creating art since I was a small child with marker-stained hands.

Now, I'm an award-winning designer and developer living in North Carolina.

My philosophy is that design is visual communication:
good design comes from good understanding.

Follow my creation process below to learn more.

Every project must start with research. Determine what problem needs to be solved before deciding on a solution. Gather details on the requirements, challenges and goals. How will the project be determined a success?

Talk to the audience about their needs:

  • Where will your potential users be when using your product?
  • Will they use it differently on different devices?
  • Do different users have different needs?

Compare other competitors in the space:

  • What are they doing right?
  • What aren't they doing at all?

Sketches

Before sitting down at the computer, I start with pencil and paper. I sketch all of my initial thoughts, then further develop promising concepts. Some ideas may work better in my head than on paper.

Information Architecture

I consider how information is labeled, grouped, connected and aligned with a strong content strategy to bring order and simplicity to complexity. Storyboards quickly show the key points in the user journey.

Interactive Wireframes

After I've refined my paper drawings, I move to interactive prototypes to rapidly get the sketched ideas and concepts onto the screen. Wireframes detail and document complex ideas and interactions.

Test early and test often. For testing and feedback, I create detailed interactive wireframes using Axure. Because of the explosion in screen sizes, devices and environments, I use responsive, interactive HTML prototypes using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

User testing has become far less expensive than it used to be with products like usertesting.com which allow you to watch videos of targeted users interacting with your product.

It's better to find out the user is not interacting like we expected as early as possible in the process. I've definitely made this mistake before on previous projects which leads to a lot more rework than if we had realized our solution didn't resonate with the user earlier.

Enhance Understanding

I improve the clarity of the interface with visual design through the use of color, typography, layout, hierarchy, and imagery. Axure syncs well with Photoshop to easily create fully thought out visual solutions from the prototype.

Accessibility

Design is not just about making something look aesthetically pleasing. I consider the needs of visually impaired users by developing solutions that work with screen readers, ensuring enough contrast for readibility, and creating color schemes with color-blind users in mind.


Just because a project has gone "live" doesn't mean it's done. I break out my analytics tools to track how well the design solved the problem.

I set up reports in Google Analytics to view user pathways and track against the project goals. Seeing how users are behaving improves not just that project's design, but gives better insight for future projects.

Heat Maps

Software like Crazy Egg and ClickTale work similar to eye-tracking to show where users are spending time on your pages.

Multivariate Testing

Keep tests simple. If you test too much at once, it's difficult to determine what factor made one version more successful than the other.