Dennis Breen

Dennis Breen

Director, User Experience

Dennis is nForm’s Director of User Experience, and a firm believer that design isn’t just about how things look – it’s about how they work.

Dennis’ approach is collaborative and actively includes team members in design decisions. He thinks the best designs come from hearing and balancing a variety of perspectives. He also thinks a little humour goes a long way in turning a collection of individuals into a team.

Dennis has helped to facilitate designs for education, financial services, justice, and a variety of government clients. He has spoken on design and user experience at a number of events, including CanUX and the IA Summit.

When he’s not making messy sketches of design ideas, Dennis can be found reading, cycling and desperately trying to keep up with two small children. When no one’s watching he tends to play the Pogues *way* too loud.

We’re Hiring a UX Designer

We're hiring a user experience designer to work out of our Edmonton office. If you're interested and you meet the requirements, please get in touch--we'd love to talk with you! Not in Edmonton? Don’t be shy. If you’re just the person we need, we’ll offer a moving allowance to get you here.

Five Keys to Visual Business Analysis

Back in January I shared some thinking on what we've called Visual Business Analysis. That post argued that holistic visualizations of the system are necessary during requirements gathering because a coherent picture changes how people think about requirements.

Visual Business Analysis

In recent years we’ve worked on a number of projects in which one of our designers has partnered with a client’s business analyst. Going into these projects, our rough approach has been for the BA to document requirements while we research end-users to build an understanding of their context. Then we design the UI to meet the requirements in a way that fits users. One of the intriguing things we’ve observed in these situations is that, no matter how skilled and detailed the BA is, we always end up reopening the requirements discussion once we put screen designs in front of people. We think this is because of a gap in the traditional BA approach. A gap in the BA approach? BA methods, as described in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide), focus on breaking complexity down into small, manageable pieces. Although a reductionist philosophy isn’t explicitly stated, it’s apparent that the essential method is to reduce big things into their smaller components. When dealing with large, complex systems this is both logical and necessary. BAs have a wealth of methods for gathering and documenting requirements in a granular way. What’s missing from their toolkit, however, are methods…

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