A crucial, but often under-emphasized stage of building a website or application is designing the user interface where human meets
Luna Design can create a user interface that is powerful and highly functional while remaining easy-to-use for your entire target
audience. We can provide sketches or full-blown mockups to help you visualize what the design will look like and how it will work.
Our extensive engineering background will ensure that this design is very well grounded in practical reality we won't design
anything that isn't easily implementable. At the same time, we can design interfaces that take advantage of your existing technologies'
strengths while avoiding exposing any weaknesses. Or, we can identify opportunities for using new technologies and incorporate those
in our designs.
A good user interface design focuses on four areas:
1. Functionality Design
Deciding what functionality to offer in a web site or application can often be the most important design decision. Throwing
every imaginable feature (including the proverbial kitchen sink) into a product is rarely a good idea. Finding the right
balance between functionality and usability is key.
Luna Design can take any requirements you may have and help you come up with a set of concepts and features to satisfy them
while maintaining the proper balance between richness of features and ease of use.
2. Information Architecture
A key part of any user interface is the information architecture how the information is organized and how the user
interacts with it. A good information architect makes sure the user can always find what they need when they need it
without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. Similarly, a well designed interface should clearly convey important concepts
and terms so users can easily understand them.
Information architecture is a subtle area of user interface design that is often overlooked or skipped, but at Luna
Design, we focus and specialize on all sorts of information architecture challenges.
3. Layout Design
This is the part that most people think of when they hear the phrase "user interface design" or "graphic design." Put simply,
the layout design defines what the website or application will visually look like and where the various components will be laid
out on the interface. The appearance sets the tone for the user experience and should match the mood or style the client wants to
present. The layout design should also present branding elements in an effective manner that identifies the client and
matches the desired mood or style without being obtrusive.
Luna Design can create a visually appealing yet efficient layout design for your website or application that keeps your
users interested while enabling them to accomplish their tasks. At the same time, our web and application engineering expertise
ensures that your interface will take advantage of the latest technologies while avoiding any technical limitations.
4. Interaction Design
Lastly, the interaction design defines how the user will interact with the website or application. How will they navigate
around and access the various features? What steps must they take to accomplish their tasks? What searching, browsing
and other mechanisms will be offered to assist them? How will technical limitations be worked around to ensure that the
interface's response time is acceptable? All these questions and many more need to be answered.
Luna Design can develop a comprehensive interaction model that ensures your interface not only looks good, but also
works very well for your users.
While many web design firms focus only on the layout design, our user interface designs address all four areas. Our
experience has taught us that these four areas are very intertwined and that keeping a balance between them is important.
(For example, we wouldn't want to emphasize the layout design at the expense of the interaction design). At Luna Design,
we pride ourselves on being much more than web designers or graphic designers we are user interface designers.
A Word About Design Presentations
Most web design firms present their designs with static mockups created in Adobe Photoshop, where virtually anything imaginable can
be created. Unfortunately, many of these idealistic designs fall apart once subjected to the real-world limitations involved in
creating web sites and applications. For example, when creating a web site design, common failures include layouts that won't work
in different browsers, designs that are so heavy on graphics that pages take minutes to download, and incorrect assumptions about
how interactive elements will work.
Instead, we at Luna Design always create sample implementations of parts of our designs and test them out before we present
the design to make sure they really work in the target environment (i.e., a website, Web-based application or a desktop application).
In fact, we often present the sample implementations at our design reviews and end up leveraging that work in the
prototyping and implementation phases.