Raise your hand if you are satisfied with that product.
We are a design studio specializing in design for user interfaces and the underlying experience.
We turn user centered communication concepts and interaction design into enjoyable journeys that bring the look, feel and vibe of your digital product to life.
In addition we speak geek and are designers who think in code. We specialize in designing human-machine interactions and interfaces that are more human than machine.
We support our clients in creating interactive advertising campaigns and communication concepts. After all we do come from the country of “Dichter & Denker”!
We create use cases, user scenarios, interaction flows, storyboards, wireframes & click dummies for
any digital screen size.
We use analysis, research, interviews & persona development so our clients can base decisions on facts instead of fluffy sales speech. We also offer consulting and help our clients define business and user goals for their digital product.
We aim for more than just “wunderhübsch”! Our online art direction and visual design are delivered in style guides and GUI specs to make sure you don't go off track when scaling your product.
Brain Appeal GmbH
Brain Appeal, Internet Agency, Mannheim: Coding TYPO 3 and Hosting. www.brain-appeal.com
- Analysis of existing sites
- Culture Research
- Basic strategic Google Analytics Check
- Concept (Content Strategy, Optimizing, Google Analytic Action Plan) & First Mockup Sketches
- Visual Design
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is an international corporate group and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of injection moulding machines for the processing of plastics.
We were asked by our client Brain Appeal to do to basic strategic concept work in the form of a culture research for the countries Russia, China, UK, France and Brazil and basic analytics research, which were then to result in a new visual design for individual country home pages.
The goal was to find a way to address the cultural differences both, in visual language and content and to catch the attention of the culturally different user groups and to create a communication concept for the different countries.
A rough analysis of the existing sites was followed on research for intercultural experience design, which we based on Geert Hofstede’s hypothesis of cultural dimensions in terms of power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty, avoidance and long – vs. short term orientation. Those dimensions affect both, our cognition and our behaviour and tell us a lot about how we look for information, which things are more /less important, how we establish trust (and why) and much more.
We wrote a recommendation paper which included examples, do’s and don’ts and best practice examples and wrote a referral on how we should display the content modules.
Next we brought the Google analytics check and the recommendation paper in alignment with the company’s brief, containing their business goals and visions, their strengths and USPs, their existing communication concept and their requirements of what should be communicated better. This we used as a basis for our concept paper on how we should proceed in terms of digital content strategy.
After approval we started with mockups in form of Balsamiq wireframes and moved on with the visual design for the european landing page.
Diving into Google Analytics, which – at first glimpse – makes spreadsheets seem like fun.
Diving into Google Analytics and seeing the huge potential if used as a resource for UX improvements!
Brain Appeal GmbH
Brain Appeal, Internet Agency, Mannheim: TYPO3 & Frontend Development and Implementation. www.brain-appeal.com
- Rough concept suggestion
- Visual design based on the suggested concept
medatixx provides office management software for clinics, healthcare centers and doctors’ offices in Germany. Our client brain appeal asked us to design a microsite, which was based on a print marketing mailing the medatixx sales team had sent to potential and existing customers. The mailing was structured like a job application and resume and was sent to facilities, who were looking for staff.
The mailing – as most job resumes was very text and information heavy so we decided to spice it up with info graphics and turn it into a well structured web resume for better understanding and readability.
As the client had asked to apply the pattern of the print resume to the microsite and the deadline was lingering on the horizon there was no time to communicate our idea in an elaborate concept.
Instead we came up with first design ideas, which were directly approved by the client.
We then finalised the idea of the one-pager in a paper look and feel and equipped it with readable text elements, lists, typographically interesting headlines and an overall scannable content structure, including supporting graphics and icons.
Translating a print mailing to the web medium within a very strict deadline, while also meeting our own demands to the project.
The translation from print to web was quite fun as it made us aware of how different reading habits are within the two mediums, especially when taking a document like “the resume”, which is expected to have a certain shape and form.
- Visual design
- Basic design specs and GUI
- Icon design
Crytek is one of the leading video game companies and they are famous for their Crysis series and their CryEngine game engine.
After the redesign of the Crysis community forum back in 2012 we were asked to give the forum for their brand new MOBA ‘Arena of Fate’ a visually appealing look. The look was to be similar to the game’s microsite. The forum’s functionality was predefined as it was based on the PhPBB platform.
First we tackled the grid and color palette and matched it to Arena of Fate’s mysterious and eerie fantasy aesthetic. We finalized our first layouts with the visual layouts for the forum and topic lists as well as detail pages.
After alterations and approval we finished up the visual page designs with the login page, which uses GFACE Login credentials and the user control panel. The process was finalized with the custom icon design of the default PhpBB Board Icons, in which we developed a visual language that could display the various message types and statuses.
All the other pages and sidebar components had to be developed on the basis of the visual layouts we handed over, so we had to be sure that all possible elements could be developed with the design given.
Sometimes even subtle color changes affect a whole visual hierarchy and contrast as well as readability problems can occur. During the design process the color palette had to be adapted to changes in the game’s product design, which through our previously established hierarchy and good contrast contrast out of the window and meant that we had to re-think a few design choices to re-establish readability and clear visual structure.
We like challenges, so figuring out the color/ hierarchy problem was both a challenge and fun!
kino-zeit.de – Das Portal für Arthouse-Film und Kino
- Optimization of usability and user experience design in consideration of the client’s requirements of page impressions
- Interaction design and full set of wireframes in OmniGraffle optimized for desktop computers
- Art direction and visual design of selected pages and components.
kino-zeit.de is one of the largest ressources for Arthouse cinema reviews. In the last ten years their database has grown to an extensive library of reviews (in German) on many Arthouse subjects, not only cinema releases.
The brief was to give the website a more polished look and to display the vast database in a way that users could easily find what was of interest while getting a glimpse the library’s size. After a review of the existing site and user patterns we began the work on the wireframes. As the framework for the relaunch was already set and was to be developed in-house we were able to have ongoing discussions with the developers to ensure that our ideas were manageable in the set time frame and framework.
We wanted to keep the art direction simple and clean and chose a limited color palette. Instead typographic variations in font type and size became the visual anchors. Repeating interactive icon groups allowed us to display the database without cluttering up the design.
Usability optimization is a hard goal to achieve if the product relies on page impressions and advertising revenue. kino-zeit.de is one of the best sources for Arthouse cinema reviews so balancing the need to make the expierence as smooth as possible (Arthouse movies are too important not to) and enabling the client to acheive their goals was quite challenging.
We love Arthouse cinema almost as much as kino-zeit.de loves it! The whole team is very passionate about their work, which made the project extremely fun to work on.
HAKUHODO Deutschland GmbH
- Concept and digital strategy for a digital automotive campaign microsite
- Development of a communication concept for the campaign on multiple digital channels
- Concepts and idea definition for various mobile and facebook applications
- Milestone recommendation of campaign launch
- User experience design and user journeys
- Art direction and full visual design for the microsite
About the project
Hakuhodo asked us to support them with the development of the Honda V4 digital campaign. Honda V4 are a range of motorcycles that all have the use of a four-cylinder engine in common. Any similarities of the products stopped there. The goal of the digital campaign was to promote three V4 models, which each catered to a completely different type of riders.
We put our heads together and came up with a concepts that boiled the interests of the three target groups of motorcycle enthusiasts down to three aspects: experience, technology and models. We used these three aspects to explain the bikes, their distinctiveness and the adventures that could be experienced with them.
A sitemap of the microsite, communication milestones and the interaction plan of divers channels that gathered user generated content and provided content based on the user’s input were established. The microsite was to be embedded into the corporate site, which turned into the next challenge as the microsite navigation had to be distinct and simple to use.
The visual design was based on the V4 print campaign and expanded from there.
Telling an interesting story to three target groups on one page, with three main menu items.
Managing to tell that interesting story and planning extensions of the story in the shape of mobile and Facebook applications.
bioRN Cluster Management GmbH
- Assessment workshop for target group, user goals and client goals
- Target group and business area research
- User experience design
- Axure wireframe of a scientist community, optimized for desktop computers
- Visual design.
bioRN a cluster management that brings biotech companies and research facilities together for collaboration and projects asked for a solution that would help better communication and support their daily work. The first meeting we had was an extended workshop in which we found out more about the cluster management’s work and the target group, which was completely new to us. We then discussed format ideas, which ranged from mobile applications to a community for scientists and biotech companies. We then produced user stories and the wireframes as an interactive Axure project so the client could better imagine the final result. A simple and clean visual design supported the target group’s defined goals, which was to be able to have clearly arranged content tailored to their personal interests that could be accessed and used in a fast manner and did not take up too much time or require extended knowledge on social media user patterns.
The target group and area of business was virgin soil to us. “Cool functionalities and features” were of no interest but instead the project was centered around easy to solve and efficient tasks that catered to a target group of which some where accustomed to social networks and others had never seen one.
When developing user stories we did a lot of research on science platforms and user patterns in science communities. This bit was most interesting and challenged us to really think about the user experience and interaction design.
- Analysis of the existing interaction design and problem definition
- Full feature wireframe in OmniGraffle for desktop computers
- Visual design of missing components, based on our previous re-design
After we had successfully helped dfv Mediengruppe relaunch their online magazine textilwirtschaft.de we were asked to come back to finalize the project by relaunching their job section. We were commissioned to do the visual design optimized for desktop screens, based on our previous layouts. The online art direction was developed in cooperation with the in-house art department. The relaunch was to result in a more modern, fashion-magazine type look that made use of the existing color palette of the magazine.
The dfv Mediengruppe has all development done in-house in an own CMS. As both magazine and job section were built to be able to grow it was most challenging to develop an user experience and visual design that can could be realized in a CMS we knew nothing about. In addition the communication of an interface design without having contact to the development department made us work meticulously on the styleguide & GUI specs.
Before the relaunch textilwirtschaft.de was more of a side product of the print magazine. This changed with the relaunch and it was fun and challenging to bring a magazine into a new medium.
Schon zu Beginn hat man gemerkt, dass die gleiche Sprache gesprochen wird und ohne lange Erklärungen die Aufgabenstellung klar ist. Das gilt genauso für die Ergebnisse Eurer Arbeit in der gegebenen Zeit bis hin zum Projektmanagement wie bspw. rechtzeitig die Hand zu heben, wenn die Aufwände höher werden als geplant. In einem Satz: Wir schätzen Eure Professionalität.
Die Zusammenarbeit mit den Geekettez war reibungslos und brachte uns für den Relaunch von kino-zeit.de ein ansprechendes Design mit einem Fokus auf Anwenderfreundlichkeit und Usability.
Die Zusammenarbeit mit The Geekettez gestaltet sich direkt und unkompliziert. Es werden die richtigen Fragen gestellt, es wird mitgedacht und es werden ausgezeichnete Ergebnisse erzielt.
The Geekettez is the collaboration of Jennifer Moss and Stefanie Kegel. The duo – also known as missmoss and guerillagirl – teamed up in 2011 and has since been working as a design-pair in the fields of user experience design, interaction design and visual design.
When not working in our studio, Jennifer is a roller derby enthusiast and Stefanie is taking a part time university course in psychology.
Or: Why Designers have to think strategical.
The purpose of this blog post is simple: We want to write a little bit more about things that we have learned, our process and yes – even about some mistakes we have made since we teamed up and founded our little design studio back in 2011 to share it with our fellow designers and our clients, because ‘design’ is often misunderstood and it often got this mysterious, ambiguous character – like ‘please make things look pretty’. [...]
Anything, anytime, anywhere?
‘In the twenty-first century the technology revolution will move into the everyday, the small and the invisible.’ (Mark D. Weiser, XEROX)
Diese Woche waren wir auf dem Webmontag in Mannheim eingeladen, wo wir eine kurze Einführung in das sehr spannende Thema ‘ambient Technology’ , ‘smart Devices’ oder in unserem Falle vereinfacht gesagt das ‘Internet der Dinge’ (Internet of Things, kurz: IoT) gaben. Den Vortrag hatten wir etwas abgespeckter schon auf dem Usability Kongress 2013 in Frankfurt gehalten.
Oh yes! Das Video von der diesjährigen Interaction 2014 kommt uns gerade recht – genau mit dem Hintergedanken des ‘Pair Designs’ haben wir uns als Geekettez-UX Team zusammengetan.
Coopers’ Chris Noessel über Pair Design und warum es besser ist, Designtasks als Team anzugehen, statt alleine vor sich hinzugrübeln. Enjoy!
We are very honored that we are invited to speak at the “Usability Kongress“, which will be happening on October 10 & 11 in Frankfurt, Germany. In about two weeks time we will get to speak at an event that is jam-packed with interesting workshops and speeches on usability and user experience. Check out the amazing “line-up”.