USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN & CONSULTATION
Bend has a rapidly growing tech scene, but a lot of organizations are not taking advantage of expert UX/UI design. Bend has amazing programmers, but too often clients go directly to coding instead of thoroughly planning out their project with a UX designer.
Imagine you want to build a house. You wouldn't dream of doing that without a blueprint. But, in theory, you could find a group of talented carpenters who could put up walls and a roof and get you a usable house. But the builders might put in one bathroom when you need three. They may put the breakfast nook on the west side of the house where it doesn’t get the morning sun. They may build a five-car garage when you only have one vehicle. The same holds true for a web app or site. You need to know exactly what to build in order to make your project as successful as possible.
As a UX consultant, I would come up with a business strategy to make sure you get the the ROI you need. I would do a competitive review of other sites/apps that are doing similar things. I would create flowcharts and wireframes so that you can work out exactly how everything should work. This saves serious amounts of re-work and re-building, which can be very expensive.
I have over 15 years of experience in identifying potential problems and coming up with creative and effective solutions. While I am not a programmer, I have worked closely with them in my roles as a Sr. User Experience Designer and Creative Director and am a strong believer in collaboration. Please view my design portfolio to see examples of my work.
View/download design resume
BOUTIQUE WEB DESIGN
GurUX also specializes in creating custom boutique web sites. Modern and clean sites that are very affordable and a breeze for the owner to update. Below are a few recent sites.
East Cascades AHEC had a site that was very out-dated, unattractive, and very difficult to maintain. I worked with them to re-structure the site content and present a modern and professional look. Building on the Squarespace platform allows them to easily update the site at their convenience.
About Pete Ficht, founder of GurUX Bend.
The old left brain/right brain trope. Either you’re a boring and rational left brain person or you’re a creative but flaky right brainer. Well, somehow I’ve become a very effective combination of both. Perhaps it was my years of training as a theatrical director - on one hand, you’re working with actors, designers and writers, coming up with ideas and staging, basically creating the entire theatre-going experience. And on the other hand, you’re wrangling the actors, staff and crew, creating schedules, timelines and budgets, basically being in charge of the whole thing actually happening. Or being a band leader, as I am currently with Wild Bells. Writing songs and coming up with parts, but also coordinating album releases and Kickstarter projects and scheduling practices and shows that work for five other very busy people.
The same is true with my experiences at Thetus Corporation, PCD Group and Site9. Not only have I created the wireframes, prototypes and GUI design for web sites and applications, but I devise the information architecture, do user testing and research, write copy and marketing collateral - and at Site9, I project managed them as well and often acted as account executive to boot.
I started at Site9 in 2003, where we built many successful eCommerce sites for such clients as Made in Oregon, Storables, and Kobos Coffee. When I work on a design for a project, I’m not just seeing it with narrow designer eyes: I’m viewing it with the whole big picture in mind, including implementation, user experience, SEO and marketing. Having worn so many hats at Site9, including holding the position of Client Services Director at the same time as being Creative Director, has given me a unique set of skills that make me an extraordinarily effective designer.
I had a very enjoyable and productive time at Site9, but in 2008 the company decided to focus on their software product ProtoShare and discontinue all web development. I was the user experience and GUI designer for Protoshare and learned a lot about software application design and development. I was happy to help with the ProtoShare launch and marketing as well as with getting the customer service department off the ground, but my real passion was for design and creative development. I realized that without much need for creative work, it was time for me to seek a new opportunity.
I next worked at PCD Group from 2009-2014, where I focused primarily on user experience and design. We worked almost exclusively with Citibank, creating intranet and public-facing web sites and applications. Though a fairly small firm, PCD Group competes successfully with larger East Coast firms and has won many large contracts, including one of Citi’s flagship sites, Women & Co.
As Sr. Interactive/User Experience Designer, I was responsible for creating the UX (and often the design) for all our projects. These ranged from designing a lifestyle/blog site like Women & Co. to wrangling the massive amounts of data and information on one of their intranet sites. One of my biggest projects at PCD was redesigning Citi’s main internal website Citigroup.net, which is accessed daily by all of their global employees for the latest corporate news and information. And I created and designed the CMS that powers it.
I was involved with all aspects of user experience design. I did the initial research and interviews with the client, creating site analysis and user research documents, screen flows and wireframes (and often the GUI) and then finally the functional requirements before passing off to the development team. One strong example for this is the UX design I did for Citi's updated YouTube channel.
Most recently, I worked at Thetus Corporation, where I was a senior user experience designer of their Savanna software. Savanna is a powerful collaborative analysis tool used by the military. It requires very complicated and thorough design work (and a large engineering team) to make it easy to use. Based on user research and testing, I created wireframes and prototypes that successfully translated complex ideas into a simple and easy-to-use interface. I then worked closely with Product and Engineering to implement my designs in a fast-paced agile process.
I was also the Design Lead, managing a design team of four people (including UX and visual designers). I worked closely with the team on design and mentored less experienced designers. And I was responsible for the design team vision and productivity.