HCI Services

Here at hexaZen, we specialize in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI is an interdisciplinary field that draws from computer science, cognitive psychology, communication theory, human performance, and design fields. Our focus is on software and how users interact with computers at the user interface of a software application. The goal in HCI is to provide users with the best user experience by improving their interactions with computers.

There is a demand for better UI design in the industry. Problematic interactive systems are the result of delegating tasks such as information organization and design to Developers who are also responsible for building the system. Most Developers do not have the background and experience to provide work like information architecture and graphic design. Development comes later, after the blueprint for the design is complete.

The HCI services hexaZen provides will help you develop better systems for your users.

The art of teaching is clarity and the art of learning is to listen.
— Vanda Scaravelli
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Information Architecture

Information Architecture (IA) is the phase in your project where you determine what the specifications and functionalities are, how to best accomplish them, and then construct a blueprint for the design and development so that you can deliver a well thought out product.  IA deals primarily with the organization, navigation, labeling, and searching of systems to facilitate information retrieval and management.  IA is often used in the context of web design and development, but can also be applied to other software products such as desktop applications.

Do you need information architecture for your product?

A content-rich site such as a university website would have most definitely gone through a very strenuous process of information architecture.  These sites are used frequently every day and being able to find and manage information is crucial.  IA is essential for complicated sites but smaller sites could also benefit from information architecture.  Just ask yourself whether or not your product needs help with its organization, navigation, labeling, or searching systems.  If your answer is yes or if you are unsure, perhaps you should consider getting help from an Information Architect.

User Testing

User testing is the best way to discover usability problems in your application.  If your application is a big investment for you, then you will want to ensure it will work well with actual users.  Bringing in representative users and having them run typical tasks with your application while an observer takes notes will help pinpoint not only the problem areas but will also validate the good design features and functionality in your software.  Although great for fully functional products, this method is also encouraged for prototypes in the early stages of development.

What you get for user testing:

  • A customized proposal with a breakdown of resources needed
  • Recruitment of representative users
  • User testing on specified tasks
  • Analysis and final report listing problems and offering recommendations
  • All test documents, including any videos or audio

Usability Evaluation

A usability expert can help you determine whether or not there are potential problems with your product’s UI in helping users accomplish their goals.  Through inspection, a usability specialist will be able to pinpoint problematic areas in usability-related aspects of the UI.

We understand that time and budget is an important factor in determining what can or cannot be done in any project.  If you cannot afford to acquire services such as Information Architecture or User Testing, you may want to consider getting a small usability evaluation.  This evaluation report will give you a sense of whether or not you really need help in other areas.

What you get for a usability evaluation:

  • Consulting and information gathering
  • Report of what was examined
  • A list of problematic areas, with screenshots if necessary
  • A list of what we would consider strengths for your product, with screenshots if necessary
  • General suggestions for improvement

Consulting Services

Need help with Information Architecture, User Testing or need a Usability Evaluation?  We would love to hear about your project so contact us through our online form.

Here are examples of what we could provide as part of our HCI services:

  • Research and documentation on your project idea
  • Wireframes and sitemap for your website
  • Wireframes for the UI design of your iPhone application
  • Basic search engine optimization (SEO) for your product
  • Quality assurance and testing

If you are an iPhone client looking for development work and you already have all of your UI documents completed, we can help you as well.  Note, because you are looking for development work alone, we will not be responsible for any of the UI decisions that you make.