Most new software gets used once and then abandoned forever. How will you ensure yours has a loyal following of paying customers?

Attract and retain more paying customers with smart User Experience Design.  

You’ve invested heavily in top-notch developers, and you’re building disruptive backend technology. You’ve put a lot into researching and validating your concept, but somehow the execution just isn’t coming out right, and you’re hemorrhaging money as a result. Are your customers…

 disappearing after one or two tries with your platform?

getting lost or stuck half way through an important task?

 unable to find or understand your platform’s best features?

 unwilling to enter personal information, or fully engage?

Most software founders are quick to label this as an interface problem, and go out and hire a designer to make the interface more “clean” and “intuitive.”  The problem with investing a bunch of money into an interface redesign is that it’s treating the symptom, not the root problem.
Fidelity investments had me redesign their responsive stock screener, which went on to win E-Monitor’s #1 rating for online stock trading tools in 2015, coming out ahead of other big players like Schwab and TD Ameritrade.

I help software businesses craft profitable products through strategic design – beyond the interface.

 

An interface that comes across as clean and intuitive isn’t just the product of a great artist or someone with an “eye for design,” it’s the product of a careful analysis of your customers and how they interact with your software. What we consider clean or intuitive software is really a combination of usefulness, usability, and visual clarity. My speciality, as a UX Designer, is to walk you through a proven process to nail all three, leaving you with profitable software in which every moment aligns with the needs and desires of real paying customers.

“Not only is Laura a great designer, but she’s amazing at taking complex functionality and reducing it to simple solutions.” Laura has been absolutely essential to our team. Wouldn’t have wanted to do it without her.  Greg Vasallo

Fidelity Investments

“I’ve aways been impressed with Laura’s design skills, and even more so with her ability to design from a user perspective while making both the business and the engineering teams happy. She is super talented!” David Becker

Markit on Demand

Stop chasing your tail and hemorrhaging money. I can help you identify and focus on what’s important. 

Most startups teams are (understandably) very focused on technology, features, and business strategy, but don’t exactly know how to look at their product from the perspective of a customer. And once you start trying, it quickly becomes overwhelming. There are 100,000 details to consider. Where do you start? What can wait until later? How do you know you’re focusing on the right thing?

PAST AND CURRENT CLIENTS
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How it works

My tried and true process can break down and organize even the most complex software problems. Typically I’ll attack a UX Design project in three phases:

Discover

We’ll study your customers and your industry so we can ensure your product provides real value for real people. This is the step that most designers skip, because teams are eager to get into making things they can see and click. But making pretty pictures is a complete waste unless we have a thorough understanding of who’s using your product, why they’re using it, how they’re using it, what other tools they’re using in parallel, and where it stands with competing platforms.
Design
We’ll visually plan out your software’s features and functionality, starting with super loose diagrams and gradually adding layers of detail until we arrive at pixel-perfect finished interface designs. If you’ve heard of wireframes, this when these will happen. This phase is all about clarifying step-by-step what customers will experience as they move through a task. When we give enough attention to these sequential “workflows,” an intuitive interface design will begin to emerge on its own. We’ll often test our designs along the way with real customers.

Catalyze

I provide documentation and one-on-one guidance to your development team to ensure your software looks and functions as expected in implementation. I do not write code. However, I do collaborate closely with developers every step of the way, from early-stage consulting about the feasibility of a feature, to sitting together at the very end to pixel-push and finesse an interface. This work is often ongoing, and I love working with agile teams who design and develop in parallel.

Startup-Friendly Pricing

Hiring a designer can be scary. And scary expensive. Maybe you’ve been burned in the past by designers that disappear, or don’t deliver as expected. Maybe you’ve seen how quickly a budget for a freelance design consultant can balloon out of control. And forget about hiring an in-house designer – that’ll cost you upwards of $80,000 a year in salary alone, times three to account for management, training, equipment, insurance, and more bank-draining employment responsibilities.

 

Good news! You don’t have to sell your soul for consistent, reliable design help.

 

I’m here to be your partner in improving your software. My fixed monthly rates are designed for small to medium sized business with an established software product. Any UX Designer worth her Macbook Pro will tell you that incremental change over time is the most effective way to improve software, and that hasty “overhauls” do more harm than good. The monthly structure also gives us the chance to course-correct every 30 days, rather than setting a rigid 6-month project plan and floundering when big changes inevitably happen. (“Pivoting” is a cliche in the startup community for a reason.)

1-2 Months

Retainer
$4150/month

The Nitty Gritty

 

We meet at the beginning of each month to agree on focused goals and specific deliverables for the month, and then meet weekly to present and review. Our benchmark for setting monthly goals is to stay within about 30 hours per month of focused design work. You’ll never be charged extra if it takes longer. Communication is super important, and I’m available for quick phone calls or email exchanges between meetings, without counting toward your monthly allotment of focused design time. The deliverables for a month will vary widely client-to-client, month-to-month. Startups come to me at vastly different places in their process, so I work hard to not stuff everyone into a one-size-fits-all design process. We’ll start from wherever you are. 

This is the least risky decision you’ll make in your entire startup career.

 

My process and my designs are thorough, meticulous, and highly effective. I only work with software founders who are serious about shipping top quality software. That means you’re committed to investing time, in addition to money, in partnering with me. As long as you are committed to this process, I will be here to support you with my undivided attention. I guarantee that you will be thrilled with the results. If, after a month of working together, you’re dissatisfied with my work, you can cancel your contract – no extra fees.

You should consider this service if…

 You’re a small to medium sized software business with an established product. If you’re an early stage startup, or in the process of building a new product from scratch, I take on a limited number of premium clients per year. Contact me to ask about availability. 

 You have consistent revenue but you need to kick it up a few notches

 You’re tired of band-aid design solutions and are ready to strategically improve your software from the inside out

 You have a solid development team that will be on hand throughout the process

This service is NOT for you if … 

✓  Your software business isn’t funded, or you’re running a startup out of your own pocket. Check back for soon-to-be-released free resources to help you improve your user experience.

✓  You’re running a startup on the side. Working with me is a partnership, which means my clients put in equal, if not more hours than me in order to get the maximum benefit of my services. I’ve found that, unless your software business is part of your full time job, you’re not going to have enough time to stay on top of the process.

✓  You have an immediate deadline to meet.  We can get started on your project’s discovery phase pretty quickly, but typically I’m booked out at least two months to get into the real meat of a project.

✓  You have a two-month timeline to complete a redesign. I specialize in uncovering and addressing the root pain points of your customers through direct research and thoroughly thinking through every user touchpoint. This process takes at least 4-6 months, depending on the complexity of your software. If you’re looking for a quick and dirty job to make your interface “prettier,” then we’re not a good fit.

Thinking about working together?

Schedule a free consultation and we’ll chat about your software and answer any questions you may have!

Schedule a free consultation now

Hi! I’m Laura,

a UX Design and Research consultant in Boulder, Colorado, dedicated to putting humanity back into technology. My #1 job is to make sure that when someone uses your platform they become customers for life. I’m a founding member of the Boulder Design Collective, a group of [totally boss] independent designers helping socially conscious businesses maximize their impact through research, technology, branding, and communications. You may see their faces around, helping to facilitate brainstorming sessions, user testing, or just providing an extra set of designer-eyes on a prototype. Often my clients will also ask for help with branding and logo design, and I love connecting them with a brand design specialist from the collective.