Portfolio SamplesView Portfolio
We like hard problems
We specialize in making large, complex problems seem simple and easy to use – this is the core of our skill set, and what makes us uniquely qualified to tackle Enterprise Class software design problems. Whether you’re creating applications for highly specialized users, migrating to a new Framework, integrating a suite of products, looking to take your enterprise offerings onto mobile, building a responsive design, working with a highly restrictive back end, creating a unique and powerful visualization, or solving a problem that nobody has ever solved before, we eagerly dive in with you. What emerges is an elegant solution that works beautifully, looks and feels fantastic, and most important, is a solution that your customers love.
The elusive trifecta
You want a class-leading user experience and user interface design for your product, that looks and feels state of the art (or even next-generation). You want experts, who can fully understand and navigate the complexities of your project’s unique needs, not lightweight web designers or a team of understudy college hires from an overpriced big firm. You want flexible UI/UX design talent that adapts quickly to your team, whether you’re using Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or a hybrid Waterfall process, and hones in on the right solutions quickly, without throwing off your schedule. And you want a price tag that won’t get you laughed out of the room. Yes, you want that elusive trifecta of Quality + Price + Time that you can only get with a firm that has mad skills, low overhead costs, and tons of experience. You just found that firm.
250 applications in dozens of markets, and counting
Having cut our design teeth at Apple, Sun Microsystems and Netscape in the Bay Area, we now create world-class user experiences for industry-leaders, startups, and midsize players who are looking to outwit the competition. We’ve designed over 250 different applications for web, desktop mobile, and responsive designs in many markets, including IT, bioscience, architecture and construction, finance, healthcare, retail analytics, manufacturing, SaaS, emergency response, and more (see Our portfolio). We’ve even working in the public sector on the incorporation of UX methods to improve primary and secondary education in Massachusetts. Even if we haven’t designed products in your industry, we will bring a wealth of innovative thinking that will propel your offering ahead of your competitors.
Who is Two Rivers?
Unlike many other UX Designers who came to the profession from graphic design, documentation, website design, or project management, we both crafted our careers around user-centered design.
Hagan Rivers holds a Computer Science degree from MIT and has been designing user interfaces since 1989. Hagan is a master of interaction design, user interface architecture, navigation system design, developing style guides, prototyping, and writing responsive HTML and CSS. Hagan is a frequent speaker at User Interface Engineering conferences across the US, where she teaches other UX Designers best design practices and effective approaches to solving difficult design problems. Looking to hone your team’s UI skills? Ask Hagan to teach one of her seminars onsite, or develop custom content for your specific needs. Our clients frequently laud Hagan for saving them countless hours chasing down dead-end design ideas, and instead giving them elegant solutions that users find intuitive.
David Rivers holds a degree in Engineering Design (specializing in Human Computer Interaction) from Tufts University and has been designing user interfaces since 1993. David is a master of the marriage of interaction design and visual design, branding, field research, usability studies, user interviews, developing style guides, and incorporating useful copy into help, status, and error messages. David has published and presented at ACM SIGCHI and User Interface Engineering. Our clients frequently call on David to bend their frameworks’ visual parameters to improve usability and match their brands.
We are personal
We keep our business small because we want to make sure that we are personally available to provide the best user experience design services at the best price. We take on very few clients, and we take very good care of them. Your work will never be passed on to a junior designer: you are always working with one of us, and we bring tons of experience to the table.
Contact us to learn more
Our offices are located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, but our clients are world-wide. Contact us with email or LinkedIn to set up an initial phone call:
How do we work?
We generally follow the iterative engineering design process that we have adapted to work well with Agile-based teams, but we are flexible. In the early stages we can work with your product team to develop the product goals, conduct field research to understand your users’ needs and refine product requirements. Later in the process, we help establish the user interface design requirements and advise your engineering team (as needed) on choosing a framework that will meet your design needs.
Next, we create wireframe mockups that can be tested with users, as needed. Together, we single out the best designs and flesh out the details of the user interface interactions for you to incorporate into your implementation. Depending on your development team’s preference, we may then create visual designs using Photoshop and Illustrator for these wireframes that enhance their usability and their impact in the sales process, or we may simply specify the CSS parameters for your framework.
Throughout your implementation, we typically provide source materials and a user interface specification to whatever level of detail you want – this can include just wireframes, or final images – Balsamiq, OmniGraffle, PowerPoint, Azure, or other mockup files, and Adobe CS, Sketch, Acorn or other visual files. We can also provide a CSS style specification, with CSS hints for all of the visual elements in the design.
Many of our clients consider our work to be Sprint zero in their Agile-based processes. If you’re bringing us into your team midstream, we break up our work into smaller components that you incorporate into each sprint, staying ahead of your developers so that they have implementation-ready user interface designs at the start of each sprint.
You may want a simpler approach like a quick product evaluation to identify the usability problems and get our strategic advice for how to fix them. Others already know their “low hanging fruit” problems and want mockups of easy-to-implement fixes. Some ask us to simply rework their navigation systems to make a product easier to grasp. Clients who are planning ahead ask us to create future demos: prototypes of future concepts for sales and marketing, or to set a goal for the development team. Our clients often have us create an easy-to-reference style guide so that the development team will be able to continue leveraging and building upon the user interface designs and knowledge base we have created with you.
Regardless of which approach you have us take, we will help you get the best bang for your development buck in improving your user experience. We’ve turned around entire small businesses for under $10K, and typically engage long-term with clients for total costs under $40K – a fraction of the costs of engaging with a large firm. Regardless of the size of your project, we complete on time and within budget.