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About

Dubberly Design Office (DDO) is a ten-person consultancy focused on making hardware, software, and services easier to use.

Our practice is also known for excellence in information design, especially for using concept maps to represent complex topics and processes from Java and the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) to Heart Attacks and Play. We like making complex information clear and seek out complex projects.

The core of our practice is interaction design—working out the steps by which a person accomplishes a task. Tasks often involve using tools. Thus interaction design is a form of product design and part of the larger product development process.

Increasingly tools are one of several “touch points” along a larger journey in which a customer interacts with a service.  Thus interaction design is also a form of service design and part of the larger brand development process.

We approach our work from a human-centered perspective, putting people at the heart of the design process. We try to structure engagements so that we talk to the people who will use the products and services we design. In the process, we conduct in-field observations, one-on-one interviews, and usability studies. We look for ways a product or service can improve conversations.

We also believe good design—like good writing—is a result of editing and revising. We believe in rapid prototyping, making a quick approximation, seeing how it works, and revising it—going through the process as many times as possible and involving users as frequently as we can.

We are particularly interested in integrated systems of hardware, software, networked applications, and human services. We believe differentiation and value come from software and services—and their integration. This pattern is playing out across a range of industries from music and other media to education, health, finance, and network management.

We are excited about a number of other emerging trends:

- Augmented Reality—blending of the web and the physical world
- Big Data—mining large data bases to evolve services in real time
- Digital TV—creating a new medium where TV converges with computers
- Sensor Revolution—monitoring our environment and ourselves
- Tablet Computing—blending mobile phones and computers

The personal computer, the internet, and smart phones mark the beginning of the information revolution, but there’s still a long way to go. We are excited to be helping invent the future.

Hugh Dubberly

Hugh is a design planner and teacher. At Apple Computer in the late 80s and early 90s, Hugh managed cross-functional design teams and later managed creative services for the entire company. While at Apple, he co-created a technology-forecast film called “Knowledge Navigator,” that presaged the appearance of the Internet in a portable digital device. While at Apple, he served at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as the first and founding chairman of the computer graphics department.

Intrigued by what the publishing industry would look like on the Internet, he next became Director of Interface Design for Times Mirror. This led him to Netscape where he became Vice President of Design and managed groups responsible for the design, engineering, and production of Netscape’s Web portal. Hugh graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in graphic design and earned an MFA in graphic design from Yale.

For more information on Hugh’s love of diagrams, read the AIGA’s Supermodeler article.

Robin Bahr

Robin is enamored of both the rational and irrational components of the design process. Originally a video and television producer, Robin worked for many years in Apple’s Creative Services group, managing corporate video production and showing people why Apple’s products were insanely great. Post-Apple, Robin studied design at the California College of Arts and Crafts. She then worked at Netscape as both a producer and art director on the corporate website.

Most recently as a Creative Director at MedicaLogic, an internet startup, Robin helped design an Internet-based service for tracking medical records for patients and physicians. Robin graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in communications studies.