I am Keith Instone. I do user experience consulting. Clients often first come to me when they have a web site, mobile applications or other technology that is hard to use. They have tried various things but struggle to really understand user needs and then how to build technology which provides business value. I help them see the world from their users perspective and guide them in changes of process, budgets, talent, skills and culture to help them accomplish their goals.
I have been doing this type of work for over 15 years, for many global businesses. “Toledo Region Experience Planning” is my focus on helping local organizations. I believe I can help improve the Toledo region economy by planning better user experiences for companies located here. The companies could be small startups, large corporations, and anything in between. I have also donated my services to “community service” projects like the Toledo Region Branding Initiative.
This type of consulting usually takes shape in these 4 types of projects.
1. Strategic consulting. Applying UX thinking at a high level to help an organization understand how to develop technology that serves both the business needs and user goals. This is less about specific design decisions and more about the process of getting to the right design decisions.
- Global example: Assessing the user experience maturity of the IT group at a consumer products company; recommending organizational, staffing, training, budget and other changes.
- Global example: Customer journey map for a technology company, explaining the key touch points so they can drive governance and project management.
- Local example: Helping write the RFP for a large intranet redesign project to make sure the vendors are capable of good user experience practices.
2. High-level design. Do user experience work, at a conceptual level, to help organizations understand the business opportunity, refine requirements, facilitate discussions, and to feed into detailed design. Often takes the form of wireframes, sketches, and prototypes. This is a stage that is often skipped in the rush from “idea” to “implementation”.
- Global examples: Too many to mention (10 years of doing this for IBM).
- Local example: Wireframes and other conceptual diagrams to quickly explore business concepts for a social gifting startup company. Some concepts were passed on to speed up design and development, while other concepts were abandoned or significantly re-thought.
3. User experience evaluation. Study how people use an existing web site, application, or other parts of a system. Get insights into behavior to suggest business opportunities and design improvements.
- Global example: Usability testing of a responsive web site to determine how well key tasks were supported on various devices.
4. Professional development. Training, education, and mentoring are often embedded in the 3 types of projects above (such as first leading an evaluation, then partnering, and stepping back to mentor as the organization takes the lead). Professional development can also be the focus of a project.
- A lot of my user experience professional development in the area has been incorporated into building the UX Toledo Region community.
If you want to talk about how I can provide services to help your company, contact me via email: instone at trep dot org.