Little Buddha

  • Core Capabilities

    While all of these roles overlap slightly, each contribute uniquely to the design process in some shape, form, or fashion. How can I help you today?

    Visual Design

    Visual design is more than just making something look pretty. It is the thoughtful culmination of color, typography, iconography, photography, graphics, and layout to create the look and feel of your web site, presentation, advertisement, or marketing piece. If I do my job right, it will not only look pretty, but be effective too.

    Typical deliverables include:

    • Identity/Branding
    • Icons
    • Illustrations
    • Information Graphics
    • User Interface Design
    • Mood Boards
    • Ad Creation
    • Collateral Materials
    • Design Presentations
    • Design Specifications

    User Experience Design (UX)

    ImageWhat does a User Experience Designer do? User Experience Design (UX) concentrates on affecting "all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used." While we contribute to the engineering of the product, the focus is primarily on understanding the user, and addressing the interaction between the user and the system, (real or virtual), to improve the overall experience.

    Typical deliverables include:

    • Site Audit (usability study of existing assets)
    • Flows and Navigation Maps
    • User stories or Scenarios
    • Persona (Fictitious users to act out the scenarios)
    • Site Maps and Content Inventory
    • Wireframes (screen blueprints or storyboards)
    • Prototypes (For interactive or in-the-mind simulation)
    • Patterns
    • Interaction specifications (describing the behavior)
    • Graphic mockups (Precise visual of the expected end result)

    Information Architecture (IA)

    ImageHow is Information Architecture (IA) different from UXD ? An IA designer focuses on the overall structural design of a product; a combination of organization, labeling, search and navigation systems to support findability and usability. Information Architecture is both an art and a science that in layman's terms can be best be defined as the design of information.

    Typical deliverables include:

    • Content Inventories (content assessment to identify scope)
    • Detailed Content Audit
    • Site Maps & Content Maps
    • Navigation Schema
    • Use Case / Requirements Documentation
    • Scenarios
    • Case Studies & Stories
    • Conceptual Diagrams
    • Affinity Diagrams
    • Wireframes (blue prints)
    • Content Strategy Report

    User Centered Design (UCD)/Usability

    How is User Centered Design (UCD) unique? UCD, also called Usability, is a design philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

    The chief difference from other interface design philosophies and UCD is that user-centered design tries to optimize the user interface around how people can, want, or need to work, rather than forcing the users to change how they work to accommodate the software developers approach. While closest to UXD, User-centered design focuses more on the users than on the system. Regardless of how cool the interaction, functionality, or bling is, if the user can't or won't use it, it will never be truly successful.

    Typical deliverables include:

    • Market Definition (Define target audience & identify competitors)
    • Competitive Evaluation
    • User Research (focus group, interviews, user surveys )
    • Persona Definition
    • Task/Purpose analysis
    • Workflow analysis (work flow, scenarios)
    • Conceptual/Mental model, metaphors, design concepts
    • Wireframes (blue prints)
    • Paper Prototypes
    • Lo-Fidelity Functional Prototypes
    • Design walkthoughs ("cognitive walkthroughs")
    • Heuristic Evaluation (inspection for known usability problems)
    • Usability Testing (paper, low fidelity - high fidelity; informal - formal)
    • Usability Report

  • Software Proficiencies

    Below are some of the software programs that I am proficient with:

    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe Dreamweaver
    • Adobe Fireworks
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Acrobat
    • Quark XPress
    • PageMaker
    • HomeSite
    • Visio
    • Omnigraffle
    • MS Office Suite
  • Little Buddha Design is the online home of Laura Melbourne, a seasoned User Experience Designer and Graphic Artist.

    I work with small businesses and individuals who need an effective online presence to create professional, attractive web sites built according to web standards. You can view some of my work or contact me.

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