Design and modeling of
Taxonomy Boot Camp 2013 demonstrates how the User Experience discipline is helping taxonomists get better results for users. From design techniques to testing, these communities are learning, and growing, together.Read More
Factor specializes in bringing together the two disciplines of information modeling and user experience to make technology more rewarding to use and easier to maintain. We improve taxonomy, navigation, content, and user experience design, and the workflows that support them.
Benefits of working with Factor include:
We solve problems for large and small companies, design and advertising agencies, and application developers in the realms of e-Commerce, customer experience, enterprise content management, and the emerging need for responsive web and application design.
Our clients have included:
Founded in Seattle by Gary Carlson and Bram Wessel, Factor offers insight, expertise, and perspective, covering projects from information management and organization to taxonomy and user experience design. Our team is inquisitive, creative, productive, and experienced.
Gary Carlson helps organizations from small local businesses to Fortune 100 companies boost revenue, customer satisfaction and efficiency via well executed information and knowledge management initiatives. Bringing over 20 years of experience as a taxonomist, consultant, and information strategist to every project, Gary’s current focus is helping companies develop their information infrastructure to deliver business success and satisfy customer goals.
Gary has worked extensively on major information and knowledge management projects and products spanning taxonomy tools, search, auto-categorization, SharePoint 2010, content management, governance and overall information infrastructure. He has delivered solutions for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Corbis, Disney, GNC, Group Health, IBM, Microsoft, Pearson Publishing, REI, and Sears.
Gary has lectured and taught classes at the University of Washington, University of Toronto, University of Wisconsin, and University of North Carolina. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops.
Informed by more than two decades of practice in user-centered design and research, Bram Wessel passionately believes that technology is not an end in itself but that it should enable natural experiences for actual humans. The broad theme that emerges from user research is that we care about the utility and quality of our experience, not just well-designed user interfaces. Bram is dedicated to “getting technology out of our way.”
Bram has delivered successful digital experience designs and strategies for high-impact brands and institutions such as Adobe, Amazon, City of Seattle, Disney, Expedia, Gracenote, GE, Group Health, Intel, MasterCard, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Real, Safeco, Sony, Starbucks, Technicolor, THX, Universal, Volvo, Vulcan, UW Medicine, Warner, and many others.
Bram balances his practice with advocacy for the discipline through frequent authorship of articles on user-centered design and creative management theory, and frequent speaking engagements at conferences, workshops and graduate classes in human-centered design as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington’s MCDM and MLIS programs. He is a member of the Information Architecture Institute (IAI).
Carol has over 25 years experience as an information professional with specific expertise in taxonomies, semantic modeling, business analysis, user experience and usability methodologies, and technical training. Prior to joining Factor, she was a Senior Consultant at Gary Carlson Consulting and SchemaLogic Inc. where she was responsible for post-sales customer engagements with a focus on data modeling, taxonomy development, management, and governance.
Recent projects include content strategy and metadata design for a healthcare company, taxonomy development for a marketing application for a large pharmaceutical firm, and a taxonomy assessment project for a enterprise wide content management system at the FDA.
Carol has served on the faculties of both Indiana University and Syracuse University as an Assistant Professor of Information Science.
Pam believes that the best designs are ones that leave the user feeling smarter rather than challenged. She has been involved in UX and business strategy development for over 15 years. She has deep expertise as a UX practitioner as well as proven skills in managing large-scale UX teams for Fortune 100 companies.
She developed and managed a robust User Experience team for ZAAZ that comprised the UX and research capabilities for the agency as well as strategic responsibility for social media and early mobile efforts, and is recognized as both a strong practitioner as well as an effective leader of teams and projects. Pam has provided UX guidance and leadership for clients including Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, BECU, CNN Money, Fortune, Converse, Morgans Hotel Group and Qwest, UW Medicine, Washington Dental, Therapeutic Associates and others.
Pam is a member of the Information Architects Institute (IAI), as well as a member of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).
Michael Rudy has over 20 years executive experience with enterprise content applications and services. This experience includes COO at SchemaLogic, a provider of enterprise metadata software; VP Alliances and Services for Stellent ,now Oracle Content Management; CEO of Hypertree, software for organizing enterprise content; and VP Product Strategy for Workgroup Technology, one of the first content management companies. Before joining Workgroup, Michael worked for a decade in aerospace as Director of IT for ELDEC. In this role, Michael was one of the pioneers of paperless art-to-part, implementing a digital enterprise design and manufacturing system as part of a DOD F-16 modernization project. Throughout his career, Michael has focused on delivering practical solutions to complex information problems.
Crispin Spaeth has a rich background in project management, with over 20 years’ experience managing the flow of information between business, creative, and technical teams. She brings a real-world perspective to Factor and believes that good design is good for everyone.
Crispin has produced events and interactive media, and designed and managed business processes for creative business and non-profit and government organizations, including: PBJS/Microsoft, Shunpike, the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Seattle International Children’s Festival, Forrest Pruzan Creative, and G Conspiracy, among others.
Crispin received her BA in Studio Art from Oberlin College.
Sarah Barrett is fascinated by the way people interact with information in the wild and finds a deep personal satisfaction in constructing a well-ordered list. She believes a genuine interest in people and their interests is essential to the practice of information architecture and human-centered design.
Sarah’s capabilities include rapid prototyping and interaction design, facilitating usability testing, and integrating user centered design methods with information architecture activities. She has worked on projects for a wide variety of clients, from small startups to enterprise-level companies, in industries including apparel, technology, healthcare, and finance.
Sarah has a B.A. from Reed College and an MLIS from the University of Washington’s iSchool, where she focused on the potential for libraries and librarians to be tool-builders, and the intersection between traditional information science and user experience. Sarah is also fluent in web, application and CMS development, as well as content strategy, taxonomy, visual design and production techniques, having practiced as freelancer while pursuing her Master’s.
Factor’s methodology works because we keep these three things in sight:
Keeping those three guideposts in view, we move through Assessment, Modeling, Design, and Specification, to chart a clear path to implementation.
We will design the perfect suite of services, designed to dovetail with your team or partner’s work, to help you meet your current business goals and be ready for the future.
Our services fall into six general areas:
Identifying and evaluating the core fundamentals that will set your project on a course to successful outcomes.
Reaching an understanding of your customers’ motives, needs, and goals to guide modeling and inform wise design decisions.
Developing information and interaction frameworks that unify user goals, content, and context into coherent digital experiences.
Creating the experience and information models that will sustainably support your business goals and satisfy customer needs.
Transforming designs and models into a feasible blueprint for implementation.
Implementing the governance and maintenance processes that will ensure your solution adapts to future challenges.