Why good process is essential to design

All designers are flattered when they are asked to design something from scratch, and the team at Black Pepper is no exception. But the truth is, creating something from nothing can be intimidating, especially when you’re translating a familiar offline experience to an online one and expectations are high. These are the moments when a … Continue reading Why good process is essential to design

Shepley Bulfinch looks back to go forward

The mantra “innovate or die” can feel like a threat some days. The demand for “new” can feel inexhaustible. So how do companies like Shepley Bulfinch survive for over a century in an industry that sets as many trends as it follows? The dedicated team at Shepley Bulfinch manages it with ease by being genuine … Continue reading Shepley Bulfinch looks back to go forward

Informal usability testing Boston-style

Some experts define informal testing as a usability test conducted focus-group style in a conference room rather than a lab setting. For others, a test is informal if it relies on low-fidelity sketches rather than a slick development site. But when you’re desperate for citizen engagement and low on budget, we say, do it Boston-style. … Continue reading Informal usability testing Boston-style

Science and international affairs at HKS

Ever wonder what lies at the intersection of science and international relations? Look no further than the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. This team of researchers and policy experts have been supporting the public and private sectors for decades. They were the trend setters who predicted that national security and defense depends on a … Continue reading Science and international affairs at HKS

A City website that’s useful

Black Pepper was recently engaged to conduct usability testing on the new City of Boston website. The site was beautifully designed by IDEO and is under development by Acquia. In the meantime, we're making sure it serves the needs of citizens across neighborhoods, demographics, and means of access by conducing surveys, one-on-one user testing, and … Continue reading A City website that’s useful