The start of a New Year signals change – a chance to reset and begin anew. For some, this takes the form of an official New Year’s Resolution and plans for big life or behavior changes. For others, it is merely a time to reflect, assess, and reprioritize.
For us, the start of 2014 brings a new name, a new brand, and a continued commitment to a collaborative way of working – together and with our clients – to deliver the best user experiences.
EatonGolden is now Crux Collaborative.
Change and Evolution
2013 was a year of change – on many levels. We said goodbye to a company founder and principal. We intensified our focus on mobile UX, and became leaders in the advancement of Responsive Web Design (RWD) and accessibility. And, we helped our clients in the healthcare, health benefits administration, and financial services industries sort their way through historic shifts in policies such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At every turn, these changes pushed us to evolve how we work with one another and with our clients. A common denominator to this evolution was the need for a collaborative approach. We needed to work side-by-side with our clients to tackle the significant user experience challenges that changed week-to-week as new public policy was voted on and implemented – and new technology was released and adopted.
Simultaneously, the departure of a founder prompted us to refine our approach to project work and leadership. It provided us with a rare opportunity to redefine our brand and approach to solving our client’s problems.
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Yes, UX is Still on the Menu
In many ways, things are still the same. We remain a user experience consulting firm. We continue to specialize in highly transactional, data-driven user experiences for large companies. We continue to put user research at the center of our process and include it as a critical step in nearly every single one of our client engagements.
In other ways, the differences are substantial. Our approach has evolved to include collaboration and participation of all team members at the beginning, and throughout the duration of each project. This evolution has enabled us to more effectively solve the challenges that arise from working with business, user, data, and technical constraints that all equally influence a project’s success or failure.
A New Name and Approach
After months of working together to define who we are and what we excel at doing- our approach and passions- one clear name emerged: Crux Collaborative.
Crux (n.): a puzzling or difficult problem: an unsolved question: an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome <the crux of the problem>: a main or central feature.
We excel at collaborating together to solve the crux of the problem. It is the type of user experience challenge we have spent a decade focusing on and successfully delivering.
Collaborative (adj.): produced or conducted by two or more parties working together 2. Done with or working with others for a common purpose or benefit.
One of the major evolutions in our approach to user experience consulting has been providing a more collaborative approach to projects. This evolution has been necessitated by the increased complexity created by today’s business needs, regulatory requirements, and technical challenges.
Even a few years ago it was not uncommon for us to create solutions and present them to clients without their active participation in the process. Today, our clients can’t just be approvers. They need to be active collaborators. They are experts in their markets segments, we are experts in UX. Together we can make a much more effective and long term solution. Designing a user experience in a vacuum is nearly extinct.
Collaboration Yields Better Results
Today, we recognize that the knowledge and talent of every team member – including those on the client side – are instrumental to developing and implementing a solution that meets both user and business objectives.
We are a collaborative – a cohesive team of specialists who have been working together for nearly a decade. Every single one of our consultants is instrumental to the success of our work.
If the last two decades of working in the interactive industry have taught us anything, it is that evolution is a constant. The source, the timing, and the topic of the change are not always what we would have predicted or chosen, but each challenge in the last year has resulted in growth, improvement and constant evolution.
We look forward to working and evolving with you as Crux Collaborative.
By John Golden
John’s career in interactive media design began in 1995 and has spanned over two decades with a focus on developing simple, streamlined approaches for complex problems.View John's Bio
By Mahtab Rezai
Principal & CEO
Mahtab has spent nearly two decades as a user experience designer, researcher, strategist, leader, and mentor. She has designed user experiences for companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 50.View Mahtab's Bio