Because websites are for people, not robots.
We collaborate with our clients to create a digital expression of their brand, organization, or business. We perform diligent user research and user testing, starting every project on the right foot. We think a lot about how people interact online—with each other, with sites and content, and with devices.
We see user research studies and testing as an ongoing process throughout a project. Early in a project, we conduct preliminary research in the form of interviews, surveys, and other kinds of analysis in order to learn how to best serve users. As we move through the rest of the design and build phases, we test our ideas and iterate to improve designs and concepts. We use card sorting to improve content and categories, usability testing for wireframes and clickable prototypes, and post-launch feedback and testing for further iteration and improvement. We believe there is always room to improve, simplify, and make experiences better.
Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of usage data to understand and optimize your website. Through web analytics we can learn how users arrive at and interact with your site. Web analytics answers the “what” questions of large groups of user activity: What are users actually doing on your site?
In order to design the best site possible, we start with content. Information architecture design allows you to understand your existing content, what new content you need, and how relationships between pieces of content work. With IA, we can define a new site navigation model and new ways of describing content so that users can find what they need, regardless of the device or platform they’re using.
Once we understand your content and have a sitemap, we can begin wireframing. Wireframes are simple illustrations to help us visualize content and understand the priorities for each page. For websites, wireframes emphasize content hierarchies and start to explore how users will interact with features and components of the site. We use interaction design patterns with cross-device compatibility and accessibility in mind to ensure the best possible experience for every user.
Visual style guides serve as the visual language of your website, specifying guidelines for all elements: typography, colors, images, and interaction patterns across devices and experiences. These guidelines not only keep a consistent design throughout the build process, but also provide a rich, visual language that can be referenced and expanded across the lifetime of your site.
Sometimes it sounds like we're speaking another language; here's a short glossary of terms to help you understand what we do and how we work.
- Design Design (big D) is a holistic process, interweaving the form of the thing (in this case, a website)—its color palette, typography, layout—with the function of the thing—who are its users, what are the goals, what is the process and desired outcome. At Four Kitchens, we focus on "Big D" Design concerns.
- PersonaA relatable snapshot of the target audience that highlights demographics, behaviors, needs, and motivations through the creation of a fictional character. Creating user personas make it easier for designers to create empathy with users throughout the design process.
- User Experience vs UsabilityUser Experience is what the user feels when they come to your site—joy, pain, frustration, excitement, etc. Usability is how easy it is to use your site: how simple or intuitive it is to learn, how effective it is at translating objectives into actions.