Tony Breed

UX Consultant with over 15 years of experience in a wide range of related areas, including UX and process design, Business Analysis, Systems Integration, CRM, Front End Development, and Design. I like making things work better—finding simpler processes, getting the right tool for the job, making more intuitive interfaces, and keeping clean, maintainable source code and documentation.

I make things work better for you.

773-769-1608

Philosophy

Leadership

  • My job as a manager is to enable success for my employees—to put them in an environment where they can thrive and produce their best work for the company.
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings are key for communication. An employee should never be surprised to find out there's a problem.
  • Hire people who are better than you, especially in your weakest areas.

User Experience

  • A web site or app should be clean, easy to read, and easy to navigate.
  • Stick with accepted standards for functional elements. Users have become used to certain practices; give them what they expect. Remember, though, that this is always changing.
  • Keep up with the latest research on what works and what does not. Use heat maps, A/B testing, and user testing to test how your site is working. Intuition is not always right; back it up with research and testing.
  • Simpler is better. Our urge is always to fit in as much as possible, and we need to fight that.
  • At any step in a process, the user should know what they are expected to do and what will happen next.
  • The business logic behind a form—that is, what error messages appear and when, how form elements change as other parts of the form are filled out—is more important to usability than the layout of the form.

Business Analysis

  • Most people are terrible at defining what they need, but they will often try to prescribe a solution. Work with them to get them to focus on the problems to solve, and the user tasks to be done.
  • User story format—"as X I need Y so I can Z"—is very useful for focusing on problems and not solutions.
  • It's OK if conversation gets off track during requirements-gathering. Listen and take notes. Often something will come up that wouldn't have come up in a more directed session.
  • You don't have to solve all edge cases, but you should handle them gracefully. And try to validate that your edge cases are really edge cases; maybe they come up more than you think.

Mobile

  • Mobile is crucial, even for B2B sites you'd imagine will always be accessed on a laptop or desktop.
  • Mobile first: start with your mobile design, and add to that to make your desktop site.
  • With the wide variety of mobile devices available, any user might be using the interface you designed for desktop with a touch interface. They won't have access to interactions like hover states; design for them too.

Portfolio

I built and designed this site (tonybreed.com). A full UX portfolio is available on request. I can also provide coding, and illustration samples.

Skills