I help big companies

discover how their customers could, should, or do experience their businesses online.

This includes:
designing web applications and systems from scratch
prototyping existing designs or ideas
testing websites, applications or prototypes with people

Big or small?

Some small companies have big projects and some big companies have little ones. As long as I’m adding value, I’ll happily help either way.

Researching better user experiences

Finding the right solution to a business problem often depends on how well you have understood the problem in the first place. Rich and robust investigation into issues facing a business will often offer spark ideas for elegant and relevant solutions.

Over the years I have developed methodologies to help a business understand their problem better.

I can help project teams with:

  • Research into market trends and existing web application solutions
  • Competitor analyses
  • User experience evaluations of existing systems
  • User experience design
  • Facilitating design by project teams

Designing better user experiences

I also help businesses design better user experiences of their systems, digital products or serves.

If enough research has gone into understanding the design problem, I can design a range of solutions that could help a business reach consensus on the right path to follow.

I can help project teams by:

  • Designing ways of carrying out tasks and interactions in the most efficient and pleasurable way possible.
  • Designing experiences that keep on eye the needs of all stakeholders – both within and outside of the business.
  • Making sure obvious usability problems are nipped in the bud before the design process develops too far.

Often I will deliver the outlines of an experience that can then be enhanced by graphic designers, copywriters and developers. My favourite deliverable is a working interactive prototype of the proposed design.

Prototyping

After 17 years of designing web applications that solve business problems, I have yet to find better way to communicate designs than prototypes. A prototype is a visual mock-up of the final solution and can be anything from a sketch to a working website or web application that mimics the final solution.

Prototyping brings project stakeholders and the eventual users of a solution onto the same page. Everyone has clearer picture of what the solution is and can provide valuable feedback before the costly process of it being developed starts.

I can help project teams with:

  • Defining problem statements and exploring solutions through sketches
  • Wireframes (Sketches of screen layouts and flows)
  • Low fidelity working prototypes (Mimics basic screen flow and layout)
  • Hi-fidelity prototypes (Mimics the final solution as far as possible)
  • Axure training and library development for business analysts and developers

User testing

Right from the start, I realised that too many projects were defined and implemented without consideration for the people who would eventually use the website or web-application. I am still boggled at how much time and money is spent on solutions that, at best are delivered in ways that are difficult to use, or at worst,  simply aren’t wanted in the first place.

For the last 17 years I have developed approaches and methodologies to include people in the investigation, design and implementation phases of projects.

Ignore the people that will eventually use your product or service at your own peril.

I can help project teams with:

  • Background insight into user behaviour
  • One-on-one user test planning and facilitation
  • Focus group planning and facilitation

Secret # 1

One of South Africa’s leading banks wanted to redesign an online tool for its clients. I was brought in to provide UX consulting and training to the project team. This included building hi-fidelity prototypes and helping test these with clients.

Secret #3

A company was appointed to help one of South Africa’s leading mining houses to investigate innovative ways of addressing housing issues in the Rustenburg mining community. I was brought on as a systems consultant and helped explore how communication systems could be used to bring the community and mining management closer.

Secret # 2

A South African life insurance provider wanted to develop an integrated business system that would stand the company in good stead as it continued its impressive growth. I helped the business envision and define the system through a number of workshops and hi-fidelity prototypes.

Secret # 4

A big South African investment house wanted to develop an application for brokers to use with clients to help decide on an investment strategy. I was brought in by one of the company’s vendors as a specialist UX consultant. I helped run persona workshops and build prototypes to help decide on the right design direction.

ThinkFleet

A new company needed an interface designed for their truck-based fuel alert hardware. I helped bed down the key business differentiators and opportunities and then designed the back-office to front-office web application. I delivered a high-fidelity prototype that re-imagined how a fleet could be monitored and managed remotely.

Other work

Over the years I have been privileged to work on some very interesting projects for a range of clients including:

  • Barclays
  • Woolworths Financial Services
  • Woolworths
  • Liberty
  • Discovery
  • iBurst
  • Ovations
  • Nashua Mobile
  • ADvTECH
  • African Bank
  • Momentum
  • Vodacom
  • Standard Bank
  • The South African Government (GCIS)
  • And others too

From the horse’s mouth …

“Customer experience and user interface design is both an art and a science. Garth is one of a handful of people in South Africa that truly understands the nuances and intricacies of this very specialized field. I would highly recommend that you consult with him to help put your next UI development project on the right track.” - Leopold Malan: Director Processing – BrightRock
“I asked garth to help design the frontend to the software that drives our business. He was very thorough in his process and knows a lot about designing for users. We got way more than what I expected. The prototype helped us all understand the design before we started developing.“- Mr X – Director of a small tech company
“Garth's experience and perspective of information architecture to a great extent helped us to understand and formulate our information and knowledge management strategy which we have successfully implemented through our intranet.” - Eloise Biggs - Head: Internal Communications. African Bank