About

Bennett Leader is a designer specializing in product design, user experience, and [x]. 

With a ...

 

I’m a user experience designer living in Austin.

I’ve worked a few tech companies since graduating from Indiana University in 2007 with a BS in Business and minor in Fine Arts. I believe technology can be utilized to help people achieve their own unique goals and that good design can be a strong driver of success in any business. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to grow and learn how we can better utilize design in any organization.

My expertise lies in designing for web and apps running on any kind of device. I’ve loved digital design since I created a website with Geocities in the late 90’s. In my career I’ve designed a lot of things for the web:

  • Web applications for IT management
  • Responsive websites for various industries
  • eCommerce iOS applications
  • Non-profit websites integrated with a SAAS platform
  • Local search websites for mobile

My Approach to Design

Mission & Vision

Design starts with an understanding of the company mission. Beyond making a profit, why does this business exist? What is the vision for this company and what does the future look like?

People

It’s important to have a good understanding of the people I design for. This knowledge is  manifested through user personas and user journey maps. It’s my job to understand these people and find out what makes them tick. This is the foundation for good design because people have problems, and I use design to solve problems.

Problems

Through people I can discover what issues that are out there when a person has a task and encounters an interface they intend to use to help them solve their problem. Issues can also arise from a business need. Generally speaking, people will have problems that should be addressed and solved by utilizing design. 

Problems are distilled into jobs to be done task (when___, i want to ____, so I can _____) which helps different parties in design/development get on the same page. It also prevents us from jumping into the solution space immediately. Any problem can have many different solution, and it’s important to make many considerations.

Solution Design

When a problem is identified, I begin generating ideas on how we could solve it. Most of the time I start with paper sketches to get all my ideas out of my head. Afterwards, I’ll set up wireframes to validate the best concepts and iron out user flow, and interaction design issues.

Next comes high fidelity mockups that will go into a high fidelity prototype to be tested with real users.

Solution Validation

I create a testing plan that will seek to shed light on whether or not the UI design actually solves the problem we set out to resolve.

This testing happens with about 3-5 real people that fit our target user type. I'll write a testing script that includes a short interview at the beginning and then questions the user can answer by using the prototype we built and set up using Invision.

After conducting the user testing sessions, I’ll synthesize results from all subjects into actions to take next. Nearly every time we’ll go back and adjust the prototype and the results are shared with the team.

Sometimes we then re-test, but sometimes we’ll incorporate feedback and move into development. I can get really into the weeds here with statistical modeling, but for simplicity sake, this is the overview of what get’s done.

Development

Development has been involved up to this point only in the problem statement generation and sometimes in the user testing phase. I pass off assets to developers, and walk them through the prototype and the problem that we’re setting out to solve. Finally, I’ll assist with QA to ensure that developed solution matched up with the designed/verified solution.


This is oversimplified, and I’ll admit it doesn't always look exactly like this, but this is the process I try to follow for any design problem I encounter in user experience design.