Our Services

ux design

User Experience (UX) Design is focused on your customer’s experience as they use your product or service. It encompasses all aspects of a customer’s interactions, coupled with an ease of use of your website. A good user experience is one that the user does not notice, but appreciates.

Design Forge will work with you and your customers to create a user-friendly experience through your website, application, or product. Creating a good online experience not only improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but increases trust in your brand and leads to return customers.

Design Forge uses current best practices in UX Design, such as User Research & Analysis, Usability Testing, and established User Interface (UI) patterns to design the best user experience for new and existing online services.

web design

Having an engaging and effective presence on the web is a must for any business. Websites need to not only be visually appealing, but they also must be user-friendly, promoting a good experience for your customer. A good experience leads to return customers and positive peer ratings.

Design Forge focuses heavily on Usability, Accessibility and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure the success of your web site.

Usability Testing Services

Usability Testing is an excellent and cost-effective way to confirm what works (and what doesn’t) on your website or application. Design Forge conducts Qualitative Usability Testing to help customers discover significant issues with their website or application quickly and inexpensively.

Not ready for a usability test? Consider having an Expert Review conducted on your web site or application instead.

print design

Strong branding creates a memorable impression with your customers. It goes beyond merely having a logo. Your brand should tell your audience who you are, what you do, and why it is important to them.

Design Forge designs business identities from concept to final piece, as well as takes existing brands and gives them a refresh.

Marketing Collateral & Publication Design

Using best practices in graphic design, Design Forge can design and layout all sizes and forms of publications. Your marketing materials tell a story to your customers about who and what you are. Let Design Forge create an annual report, custom brochure, direct mail piece, or tradeshow booth and enhance your brand.

Photo of Orysia Riesen of Design Forge

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Design Forge

Owner/Design Consultant
May 2000 – Present

Operation of design consulting business that focuses on providing clients with customer-centered, professional, visually-appealing, unique design solutions for brands, marketing collateral, publications, web sites, and mobile applications. Works closely with clients to ascertain their design needs and produce visual communication solutions.

California Department of Justice

UX and Accessibility Consultant
February 2019 – Present

Provides User Experience (UX) Design for the CURES web application. Creates detail design documentation for client, including user-centered flow diagrams (ITFs), wireframes, content documents, user scenarios, personas, and task profiles. Conducts expert review of the existing web application and reports findings and recommendations to the team. Evaluates usability of existing application, as well as proposed functionality through public user research using various techniques such as focus groups, interviews, surveys, and usability testing. Creates usability test plans, participant criteria/screeners, moderator scripts, and other usability test materials. Develops User Interfaces (UIs), prototypes for usability testing, and UI design specifications. Presents findings and recommendations from various usability tests to project team and facilitates solution discovery sessions.

Participates in project working sessions and Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions. Facilitates review of UX documentation with project team. Provides UI/UX design requirements and input for development of use case documentation. Collaborates with the CURES project team consisting of business analysts, solution architects, developers, testers, program staff, and others to prepare project deliverables, documentation, schedules, and other materials. Assists in User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Accessibility Testing, and end-to-end testing. Identifies, fixes, and provides solutions to defects in UAT. Ensures that interface designs follow ADA Section 508 guidelines for accessibility. Evaluates existing application for 508 compliance and provides assessment and solutions for existing issues. Provides regular feedback and review of redesigned application for 508 compliance.

California Public Employees’ Retirement System

Senior UX Designer (Lead)
April 2012 – July 2013

Lead user experience (UX) design for the most complex and innovative application development and design related needs affecting CalPERS Business Divisions. Supported CalPERS web sites and online services, provided support, mentoring, and guidance as a Lead UX designer to UX team, defined methodology and processes for UX team, conducted Usability Testing of customers, and designed rich user interfaces (UI) for web applications and web sites by applying industry best practices.

California Housing Finance Agency

Graphic & Web Designer
November 2007 – April 2012

Lead the concept development, graphic design and production of Marketing collateral (newsletters, brochures, flyers, posters, print ads) and internal Agency graphic requirements. Provided oversight on administration and usage of graphic and branding standards for the Agency. Provided photography as needed. Managed all aspects of the internal web site (intranet), including, but not limited to, front end development, content updates, testing, maintenance, trouble shooting, site expansion, and web graphics.

California State Teachers’ Retirement System

Graphic & Web Designer
December 2003 – November 2007

Developed the concepts and compositions for promotional displays and marketing collateral for events, products, and services. Designed and laid out publications for both press and online publication. Developed logos and sub-identities for projects, programs, units, divisions, and branches. Developed and implemented guidelines for design. Worked with web maintenance and development teams to create graphics for web sites and web applications. Created eNewsletters and eFlyers. Developed templates for documents, forms, and presentations.

CERTIFICATIONS

Human Factors International
Certified Usability Analyst (CUA)

EDUCATION

Deque University
Accessibility Training

Human Factors International
User Experience Foundations
User-Centered Analysis and Conceptual Design
The Science and Art of Effective Web and Application Design
Practical Usability Testing

Nielsen Norman Group
Fundamental Guidelines for Web Usability

UC Davis Extension
Introduction to Project Management

California State University, Sacramento
August 1999 – December 2005
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design, Minor in Communication Studies

Placer High School
August 1995 – May 1999
High School Diploma with emphasis in Art and Design. High honors and honors in English.