We’ve been building, integrating, and educating clients on our user research and design processes for over 25 years. We’ve worked one-on-one with clients from across the globe, learning about various industries, and helping them develop a successful product.

Your Customers

Gain insight into your target customer’s behaviors, motivations and intents. Does your product help them accomplish their life with joy and delight? We use Contextual Inquiry to go into the field and gain an understanding of your customers.

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Good design has always been difficult. With the introduction of mobile devices, always on and always connected, design has only become more difficult and more exciting. The potential impact of a new product on human lives is more profound and more valuable than ever. To do it right, design teams need to be sensitive to the larger world of the user, steeped in that world, and guided to use what they have learned to produce products that are successful. The context of use today is much richer and more complex than ever before, the impact on people’s lives is much more profound, and the technological possibilities are much deeper and more wide-ranging.

Any data gathering technique — whether surveys, focus groups, or the lab with fixed questions and predefined tasks — takes users out of the context of their lives. In the field the rich context of the user’s real life is present: motivations, strategies, workarounds; real-time interruptions and interactions with others; and constraints imposed by real-world conditions. The core of what we do is to understand users in their own settings, using that to develop deep insight into their lives, and applying that insight to a design problem.

The Future

We help you drive ideation from a deep understanding of your customers. We immerse your cross-functional team in field data from your customers and through a facilitated, structured process you invent new and better ways to meet customer’s needs.

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In today’s world we need to design for life, not just task accomplishment. Using data from your customers to drive design thinking, combined with our broad industry experience over 25 years, we help you create the right product incorporating modern design principles.

The visioning session is a facilitated process for immersing teams in the users’ world by walking them through the consolidated data, generating scenarios exploring how technology can enhance users’ lives and work, and driving the implications of the Cool Concepts into the emerging product concepts.

The final part of visioning is the Cool Drilldown. Designers are not accustomed to addressing the emotional and motivational aspects of design revealed by the Cool Project and resulting Cool Concepts. The Cool Drilldown gives designers time to think through the implications of the Cool Concepts for their design and to enhance the product concepts for Cool.

for Life

Designing to support any activity today means understanding it in the context of the whole of life. Successful design today means going far beyond understanding the “cognitive load” or “steps of a task.”

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Mobile devices have become ubiquitous and have fundamentally transformed people’s lives. Cell phones and tablets have taught us that access to our stuff — work products, information, communications, and community — is always just a touch away. There’s just me and my work, me and my life — and increasingly, not much distinction between them.

Transformative products help us get our life done and celebrate our accomplishments, connect to the people who matter to us, express the core elements of our identities, and create moments of surprise and sensory delight — all in a product that just works, like magic, with no hassle or learning required. That is a tall order, and means that designers must understand a much wider life context than they ever had to before.

Our projects are built around a series of immersion experiences for team members and stakeholders. Through a well-defined sequence of activities, our design process continually immerses the designers in the world of the user, gives them an opportunity to reflect and respond — and then re-immerse them again, to keep them grounded. This ensures that when quick decisions must be made, the designers’ “gut feel” has been tuned through repeated immersion to reflect the users’ perspective.


We expand your understanding and ensure you have the right design. Create a survey based on your field data findings. Or apply the Cool Metric to your product. Validate your initial product design with paper prototyping.

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Want to know how extensive a trend is? Or if data collected in one geographic location is still relevant in another? Let us help you create a survey based on your field data to assess your larger market and aid your decision making.

Or with a good product concept in hand, let’s go into the field to validate how it is received. A paper mock-up interview gives you immediate feedback on your proposed design. Add measures of satisfaction and coolness for more feedback.

And use the Cool Metric to see if you are delivering joy and magic.  The Cool Metric gives your team a new and different lens through which to view a product’s design. The results  help your team understand where a product could better support the Cool Concepts. Use the Cool Metric to assess your new or existing product concept. Read about it.

What’s It Like To Work With Us?

We wrote the book on user-centered design methods and it’s used in many universities around the world. We’re experts at bringing structured data into an organization and bridging the gap between engineering, design, and data. We train your team by coaching them while they do the work. You get the data, new design concepts, and a skilled team.

How can we help you create a
successful product?


Let us contact you