UX / UI Design Experience, Methods and Projects

Stanley Caplan
Recipient Stanley Caplan Award for User-Centered Design
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Case Studies

Trading Technologies, Inc

Futures Trading GUI Conducted extensive user needs analysis in major global markets. Created UI design solutions that optimized trade performance and key asset class visualization. Produced robust simulations and testing with users in U.S. and other global locations. Produced verified UX performance improvements. Significant IP patents issued on core concepts.

New York Stock Exchange

NYSE Specialist Display Book Executed extensive on-floor data gathering and related cognitive task analysis for primary trading functions covering routine and high-intensity trading profiles. Created GUI design solution based on robust cognitive model of trading dynamics. Produced simulations and tested with NYSE Specialists. Design reduced cognitive workload, training time and errors. Design verified by independent usability testing. Solution delivered on-budget and adopted by entire trading floor ahead of schedule.

Mattel, Inc

COPPA-Age Social Network UI Conducted extensive analysis of user needs for specialized social networking site and secure registration process for COPPA-age children and parents. Developed decision / risk model for registration process and related parental controls. Created robust UI design and simulation including all support video and verified usability performance with children and parents in formal testing program.

Process Control GUI

Design and Research Conducted on-site human factors engineering audit of large-scale paper production facilities in global locations. Identified critical human factors engineering problems and risk factors. Developed GUI that reduced operator errors and training time and improved production performance overall. Solution provided operator access to advanced automation features through simplified interface useable in harsh environment with gloved hands. Solution became best-in-class industry standard.

Department of Defense

Department of Defense Executed comprehensive cognitive task analysis of complex travel planning system utilized by all Department of Defense employees. Developed new interaction framework, task flows, status indications and error correction schemes that dramatically reduced skill acquisition levels, planning errors and task time and improved display of complex trip-planning events when displayed on desktop and mobile interfaces. Produced robust simulations of new framework including creation of key interaction behaviors utilized in verification exercises and system development planning.

Fujifilm North America Corp.

High-End Photo Kiosk Interface Conducted detailed heuristics analysis of consumer photo kiosk UI under development. Produced new cognitive model, detailed task flows and new GUI that reduced task complexity for inexperienced consumers and access to advanced features by experienced users. Optimized cross-sell functionality based on advanced gesture-based framework. GUI produced in 3 visual styles: high-skeuomorphic, flat graphic and minimal flat graphic. UI verified by formal usability testing with consumers.

Case Studies


Strategic Visioning Based on execution of detailed competitive market and product analysis covering UX design innovations in the music technology sector, created a strategic UX innovation framework for addressing dramatic increases in competition brought about by a new major entrant to the online music technology space. Proposed to top management realignment of strategic thinking related to experience optimization of core products and services. Proposed robust user-centered development methodology for increasing competitiveness on a global scale.

MTV / Viacom

MTV Viacom In a multi-year effort, MNM executed 50+ complex usability research and UX design programs focusing on business-critical web content delivery channels for MTV and related sub-brands. Programs included complex research on cross-channel content migration and related impact on brand engagement and content consumption for major brands. Executed 3 year, longitudinal user engagement optimization analysis of MTV.com, which contributed to the site migrating to 1st place in ComScore ratings. Working in concert with MTV Digital Research, received an Emmy Award for New Media Research.

Pfizer + Other Medical Entities

Pfizer + Other Medical Entities In numerous multi-year engagements, MNM conducted complex human factors engineering research and product design programs for leading medical and pharmaceutical entities covering imaging systems, drug delivery devices, emergency care / ICU systems and surgical devices with focus on both software driven, screen-based interfaces and hardware configurations. MNM has executed large sample formative and summative studies for FDA approval. MNM received the Alexander C. Williams Award / Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for medical systems design.


Citibank In a multi-year engagement, executed international UX design, usability research and user engagement optimization programs for Citibank online services. Reported to the highest levels of the bank including Office of the Chairman. Developed primary interaction framework for Citibank home banking utilized on a global basis. Conceptualized and developed large internal teams of subject matter experts, HFE staff and related testing facilities. Citibank online customer experience rated number one on a global basis during period of involvement.

Legal Expert Cases

Legal Expert Cases MNM has provided consulting and testifying expert services for design patent, utility patent, trade dress and copyright matters covering GUI design and product design. We have participated in over 75 major cases on behalf of the world’s most successful high-technology companies and work routinely with leading law firms. We speak at major IP conferences and are on the planning board for USPTO conferences. Mr. Mauro was the first design/research professional invited to speak at the UC Berkeley Federal Judicial Center training seminar for federal judges.


NASA In a multi-year effort, MNM executed complex human factors engineering research and workstation / user interface design programs resulting in creation of new generation of mission control centers for NASA Space Shuttle operations. Solutions resulted in verified improvements in critical launch information display and operator mission management including cross-training and task sharing functions. Solution propagated to Shuttle operations centers on a global basis. MNM received NASA Special Service Citation for this effort.

Case Studies

Mobile UX.UI Design History

Design History MauroNewMedia has an unparalleled history in mobile UX / UI design including early work on display pagers, emergency radios, PDAs, cellphone, tablets and smartphone interfaces. Our solutions have contributed to some of the most successful mobile products in history. We have served as consulting and testifying experts for the world’s leading mobile product companies. Today we continue to consult on new mobile products and related services including apps, for which UX performance is business-critical.

G&D Corporation

Mobile Banking Security Device Created specialized sub-miniature, personalized online banking security device that allows for complex highly secure financial transactions through interaction with 2-line display UI.

Wearable Devices

Multi-Function Wearable Devices Executed cognitive task analysis and detailed ergonomic research programs related to optimization of wearable products and UI design configurations for a wide range of devices. Executed important early research on the complexity of wearable interfaces and provided detailed methodology for interaction simplification through application of transfer-of-learning concepts and related human factors engineering principles.

Leading Ivy League Endowment

Leading Academic Endowment Created tablet-based UI framework for use in tracking asset variance based on freshness of data and projected asset value models. Produced new highly interactive data visualization UI framework for rapidly exploring complex data sets and improved asset management and board-level decision-making. Created robust simulations and related data presentation schemes.

New York Stock Exchange

NYSE Floor Reporters GUI Complex, mobile high performance UI design for the world's largest stock exchange floor reporters. Conducted extensive on-floor research and interviews with leading NYSE firms/executives. Human factors performance verified by independent testing. Solution eliminated millions of paper cards per year.

App UI Development

Complex App UX/UI Design Executed research and design programs involving transfer of desktop functions to app-based environments and creation of new app-based products. Specialized experience with cross-platform media consumption and deep content navigation in app interfaces. Executed usability and UX/UI interface design programs covering financial services, gaming, music, e-com and other major industry sectors.

Case Studies


Feature Modeling Conducted extensive competitive UX analysis of 32 MP3 players benchmarked against new entrant to the market. Produced robust cognitive model of UX performance impact on purchase decisions covering player / online music service combinations. Accurately predicted demise of MP3 player market based on UX performance of new entrant.

Complex Process Control

Research and Design Have undertaken complex projects in the process control industry: paper and sheet material production, electric power generation (fossil and nuclear), mining, large-scale pumping applications and telecommunications. Field research has included work with represented workers in several industry sectors. Clients include: Weir Minerals, Louisiana Power and Light, New Jersey Power and Light, ABB Accuray and others.

Complex Hand-Held Systems

Research and Design Executed complex projects focused specifically on optimization of hand-held products and related applications. Have undertaken extensive HFE analysis, design and testing of hand-held product design applications covering trading interfaces, surgical devices, drug delivery devices and hand controls (many applications). Clients include: Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Pfizer and other leading entities.


Global Strategy UX Optimization Conducted global market research audit of UX configurations for 350+ cellphones and smartphones. Identified trends in UX configurations and interaction frameworks based on OS functionality and market size / penetration. Developed detailed UX optimization strategy for cellphone and smartphone market based on current and projected trends in UX behaviors and modes of use.

Trading Technologies, Inc.

Complex Futures Trading Conducted detailed HFE research with leading futures trading firms in U.S. and Europe. Created cognitive model of complex futures spread-trading dynamics and related data sets. Produced interaction framework and UI design that optimized decision making and event tracking for large asset commitments. Numerous patents issued on core visualization concepts.

Wit Capital

Trade Status States Created first high-performance online trading platform for consumer applications. Produced comprehensive portfolio management and trading interface that optimized consumer’s ability to visualize rapid changes in market conditions and to reduce risk. Design resulted in award of seminal GUI trading system patent cited in all major trading GUI cases and prior art references. Key innovations present in many trading platforms in use today.



Wide and deep industry experience
Founded in 1975, we have a long and proven history creating solutions to complex user interface design problems for demanding user profiles in leading industry sectors. We were the first U.S. consulting UI design firm to employ professional human factors engineering research to the design of user interfaces for both hardware and software applications (1975). We created the first formal usability testing laboratory in 1976 and the first rigorous HFE testing methodology in 1979.

Our experience covers UI design and human factors performance verification for a wide range of user profiles and industry sectors including UI design for highly complex financial service applications, social media interfaces for teens, cross-platform media consumption interfaces for millennials, complex medical imaging and drug delivery systems, mission-critical process control and energy applications, user interfaces for COPPA-age children, large scale virtual reality networks and avatar creation interfaces, complex military systems, aerospace systems including NASA, product/screen-based interface combinations, complex CSR applications, and complex data visualization and decision-making interfaces for leading high-technology institutions and investment firms.

How we differ from other firms offering UX/UI design solutions
Based on our long and successful history, we know that the basis for creating empowering and successful business-critical user interface design solutions is the application of rigorous professional human factors engineering during all phases of development. History has proven this assumption well-founded, as several of our solutions are running at the heart of complex world markets and key industry sectors. We are uniquely qualified in both human factors engineering and UI design.

Extensive experience with cognitive processes and physical ergonomics
Many successful UI design solutions require a detailed professional knowledge of cognitive processes and physical ergonomics. The special biomechanical properties and anthropometric limitations of the human system can determine the effectiveness of man-machine interface solutions. In projects that combine physical hardware design with screen-based UI design, we offer clients a proven track record in physical ergonomics and biomechanics. This expertise is especially important in UI design projects, in which hardware and software interfaces must be optimized as unified components.

Intellectual property value created by MNM solutions
Numerous UI design solutions created by MNM have been awarded extensive utility patents by the USPTO and other global patent entities. These patents have, in some instances, become primary references for entire industries that are optimized around screen-based UI design solutions.

Putting the pieces together
We offer clients an industry-proven methodology for solving these increasingly complex technology/business user interface design problems. Because we are deeply involved in professional usability testing and heuristics, we know how to define your core business proposition, gather and document user needs and technical requirements, translate such requirements into robust cognitive and functional interaction models, create rapid prototype solutions for user testing, and finally, how to create and layer a world-class visual design style onto the best possible human factors engineering solution.

Our expertise in visual interface design
We are unique in our ability to integrate professional human factors engineering with functional interface design, user testing and visual interface design. Whether you are seeking a flat graphic or highly skeuomorphic visual design, we have both the expertise and history to deliver a final UI visual design solution that is aligned with the brand attributes and visual design objectives of your company or entity.  

Testing your visual design solution with customers
Unlike other UI design firms that may simply follow the latest design trend, we do not believe that there is one visual style (i.e. flat graphic or skeuomorphic) that is appropriate for all client UI design solutions. Therefore, we routinely conduct A/B testing for clients related to the selection and refinement of the visual design style that is most appropriate for your company’s brand image and customer preferences. To that end, we have conducted many large-sample comparative studies on visual style during development, and know from these research efforts that simply applying the visual design style currently in vogue can and does have a significant negative impact on perception of your product by key customer profiles in the marketplace. We offer all UI design clients visual design testing during development. We also have a record of adhering tightly to preexisting corporate visual design guidelines when so directed by clients.

Review our associated experience
Click here to review our mobile UI research and design methods
Click here to review our professional human factors engineering experience
Click here to review our professional heuristics experience
Click here to review or professional ergonomics experience

Read our critical analysis of the initial Apple v. Samsung case
Click here to read our analysis of the initial Apple v. Samsung Case in the Northern District of California. (over 200,000 views)


User interface design approach is important: Today, corporations involved in creating world-class user interface design solutions should be deeply concerned about the methodology and development processes employed by their partners. A methodology that fails to be appropriately rigorous yet suitably flexible can put a critical project at risk. Our development methodology is rigorous, flexible, and industry-proven.

Whether you are undertaking an aggressive AGILE development effort or seeking a robust user-centered design approach, we have a reputation for aligning our methodology with your specific business objectives. We believe that development methods are an ends to a means and never the reverse. Here is what clients say about our development methods:

"We started out with a blank sheet of paper and ended up with a working design that not only meets, but I believe exceeds user expectations. Job well done!"
Development executive for high-profile government design project

"Excellent project management skills that drive the project very smoothly — on time, on spec, and on budget."
Product development executive for global credit rating agency

Business objectives development

Drawing on the methods and tools from the formal management sciences, we offer clients research and development of formal business objectives. During this effort, we employ proprietary data gathering methods aimed at identifying and interpreting your underlying business objectives—those objectives that are critical to creating effective solutions.

User needs analysis

Making assumptions about your user needs without confirming them through professionally executed needs analysis is the shortest path to failure in complex user interface design programs. We employ a wide range of research methodologies to identify and verify the needs of your user.

Human performance criteria

What is "simple"? How many times have you read a product specification that states as a primary objective "the interface must be as simple as possible for the user population"? Without objective human performance criteria, this is a meaningless statement. Human performance criteria create a framework for formal usability and customer satisfaction testing during critical phases of development. The criteria we develop are always mapped against hard business objectives to be certain that your customer experience optimization strategy is based on real business goals and objectives.

Task analysis and data modeling

It is well known that every touch point that your customers have with your product or service impacts their decision to be acquired, retained, and migrated. Task analysis drills deeply into the cognitive processes and needs of your customers and helps define a cognitive model of the customers' decision making process and conceptualization of task structure. The data from the task analysis is used to develop psychologically meaningful features and functions and create a design which simplifies and enhances the customer experience.

Functional interface design

A common problem with complex user interface development programs is the tendency to move too quickly to interface design solutions. Without taking time to develop the appropriate functional attributes, you can end up with a design which may look engaging, but lacks a solid relationship with the underlying cognitive model of the user populations. As a core component of our user interface design services, we offer development teams a structured approach which applies proven research and development methods to define the functional interaction design of the interface. This process ensures you will have a solid design foundation on which to apply visual and graphic design.

Visual/graphic interface design

The visual design of your screen-based interface will have a major impact on how your system is perceived by customers and users. This first impression is an important component of building an effective and strong interactive brand for your system. However, achieving high levels of visual design performance requires a clear understanding of how visual style impacts both usability and brand attributes conveyance (See related report from Forrester). Our structured methods provide the desired visual design attributes without sacrificing usability and brand conveyance. We offer clients a full range of visual design services including production of all critical graphic elements for complex interfaces and supporting, pixel-level production documentation.

Simulation development/testing

The rush to create code is a major problem in most complex user interface design programs. For our methodology, we create robust simulations of complex interfaces to visualize and investigate the impact that a given functional interface concept will have on both user performance and satisfaction. The simulation phase is a critical component of all successful UID programs because it allows for earlier testing with key stakeholders and user profiles, significantly reducing the risk of project failure.

Customer training development

The critical question in the development of effective screen-based user interfaces is how to understand and support only those aspects of the user interaction that require training support and help. This problem is often overlooked by development teams until very late in the development cycle, often leading to poor acceptance of beta releases and cost overruns. A complex user interface that does not properly support user training needs can place high demands on call center volume resulting in increased costs and complexity. We offer clients extensive support in training needs definition used for the development of complete online tutorials and help systems.

Have a specific user interface design need?: With more than 30 years of industry experience, we probably have run across your problem before. If we can't help, chances are good we know who can. Call us at 212-249-3683 ext. 105

Our specialized research applications

Agile software sprint testing

The centerpiece of all successful AGILE software development projects is rapid development of critical user needs followed by reliable feedback from users during each sprint. Based on your project needs, we combine our research methodologies (described above) to create a specialized AGILE user testing program to provide development teams with critical expertise and feedback during even the most aggressive sprints. These services have proven highly effective in dramatically reducing the risk present in AGILE development projects.

Trading system UI design

Over the past 20 years, we have executed trading system UI design programs for several of the world's primary markets and market makers, including major projects for The New York Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, Trading Technologies, Inc., WitCapital/Soundview, and other leading financial institutions. We have financial trading systems experience covering all phases of high performance UI development including, usability research, business objectives development, needs analysis, task analysis, trading floor ethnography, and cognitive modeling of high-risk decision making. We have developed high performance UI trading solutions for a wide range of profiles including hedge funds, equity trade desks, futures and numerous other asset classes. In addition to our experience creating solutions for professional traders we have extensive experience analyzing and developing consumer online FSI systems including home banking, trading, and financial planning. Our trading solutions are running at the heart of the world economy.

Media and cross platform testing

A primary business problem all large media companies face today is how to successfully migrate their traditional media properties to the 4 interconnected and increasingly transparent delivery platforms of TV, Web, Mobile, and Virtual. We have worked with the world's most successful media companies to design and execute cross-platform usability and user experience studies that address this difficult customer "engagement" problem. Our research methods have proven effective in helping major media companies understand and optimize their migration to successful new media business models.

Gaming and virtual reality testing

Online gaming and virtual reality are two of the primary forces of the "NEW" new media. Avatar-based interfaces allow customers to play in synthetic environments, creating a staggering opportunity for those who understand the psychological impact and the primary customer experience design challenges. Effective and reliable research in the virtual reality and gaming arena drives success. At MauroNewMedia, we have pioneered research programs for some of the largest gaming and virtual world commercial projects in recent history. Using these new methods for conducting research in gaming and virtual worlds, we have developed a deep understanding of user and avatar behaviors and the related functions that drive deep immersion and expand in-world social networking participation. Our research services have been used extensively to answer critical user experience questions related to how customers respond to gaming and virtual world interfaces.

Persona development

Understanding your user profiles (personas) is critical to understanding how to create and support a successful product or service. For more than 25 years, we have created complex user profiles for a wide range of products and services, ranging from personas for cancer patients, to brokers executing trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. In all of these projects, we employ a combination of professional user testing, observational research, and interview methodologies to develop interactive persona solutions that combine the latest data with the most appropriate and reliable research methods.

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