Hi, I’m Oz.

I help social impact companies make their products easy to understand and use. Unlike other design shops that make fancy graphics, I specialize in content-first design to get to the core of what users want.

Content-first design and why you should care

 
Take a look at your product’s interface. Now remove all the words. 99% of the meaning is gone. Whether you like it or not, your product is always saying something to your users. The question is – does the message connect?

Most design problems are communication problems. Designing content-first means creating the strategy – and resulting user interface – to facilitate communication between your product and your customers.

How does this design process work?

Like any good design process we’ll start with research. Then collaborate to distill our knowledge into an interface. Below is Jesse James Garrett’s 5 Planes, which I’ve found to be a durable model of approaching design:

In this model, each plane is dependent on the one below it.

Example: getting the user needs wrong can necessitate a wholesale redesign of a product (or scrapping it altogether), whereas getting the visual design wrong is more likely a superficial fix (swap out colors, change typography).

“Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” – Jeffrey Zeldman

That’s why I’m an advocate of starting with a firm foundation of strategy, research and content, then working our way up to the visual layer.

Benefits of working this way

  • Understanding the process as it goes along. You understand writing already
  • Option to get your content made along the way with design. 
  • No more designer “scurrying away” into a corner, doing her magic, and coming out with something that may or may not connect – this is your 
  • A way to visualize information architecture
  • Starts with what users want 
  • A transportable item you have in your hand. 

Want to work together?

As you can tell, my personal site is undergoing some major surgery right now. If you’d like to see my portfolio or just chat about UX, sign up to my mailing list:

“I can say with great confidence, when I work with Oz again to lead the UX on any other projects, he will present something that doesn’t just work well, but also delivers a positive user experience.”

Sho, Executive Producer