You want to create beautiful and usable FileMaker apps.
You need to finally feel confident in your design abilities.
You have too much information and too many buttons to easily fit on the screen.
You’re done trying to figure it out on your own, one project at a time.
You’re tired of feeling frustrated with the design process.
You wish there was an easy way to design FileMaker apps without all the trial and error!
I help my students with those same problems all the time. And if you’re like any of them, you’ve probably made some of the same mistakes.
Lack of Structure
When objects are scattered across the layout, with little regard to how they are arranged, it makes it hard for users to understand how the information goes together, or how to take action to reach their goals.
Weak logical groupings
Sometimes information is grouped randomly, or possibly not grouped at all. A lack of grouping makes it harder for users to walk through the process, or understand where to look to find information they need.
A lack of consistency is another common issue. It can be a mix of fonts, field styles, colours, icons, or buttons that are styled in every which way. Or controls are hard to find or use because they’re different from layout to layout.
Lack of alignment
Failing to align objects consistently can result in a messy-looking layout, and contribute to a lack of trust in the application. Poor alignment can also make it harder to understand the page structure.
Navigation can be badly organized, confusing, inconsistent, hard to maintain, or difficult to expand over time. Or all of the above! Sometimes, navigation is simply hard to find, and/or applied inconsistently across a solution.
Inappropriate use of white space
Sometimes text, fields, and buttons are squeezed together with almost no room in between. Or, there can be large empty spaces on the layout for no apparent reason. Often, both of these problems appear in the same layout!
You actually enjoyed the process of designing a new solution...
You could finally know exactly what to do and in what order...
You could really look forward to doing the design portion of your FileMaker projects...
You could have all of the above with a reliable, repeatable process that will make both you and your clients happy...
Alexis brings both technical know-how and a sophisticated aesthetic to UI/UX, to provide a rich and informative class.
—Jeffrey London, London Net Studio
Who is this right for?
Solo or In-House Developers
If you’re on your own or working for a single client, you get to wear all the hats, including that of UI/UX designer!
This course will provide you with a repeatable design process you can use to get your projects off to a good start, or to refresh an existing solution.
Having a set of steps to follow maximizes your time and increases the quality of your work, meaning it’s a win-win!
Vertical Solution Providers
Do you sell a complete software product built on the FileMaker platform?
Bringing good design and user experience to your FileMaker app is the number one way to deliver value for your clients and increase sales.
Following a design process will ensure that you’re focused on providing exactly what users need, improving customer satisfaction and ultimately making you more money!
Technical Leads and Senior Developers
When you’re on a team, it becomes even more crucial to plan and document your design prior to development, as well as communicate your design decisions clearly to developers.
This ultimately saves time and reduces the number of errors and questions once development starts. Everyone knows that the earlier problems are spotted, the easier (and cheaper) they are to fix!
A formalized design process will ensure you cover as much as possible up-front.
Basically, this is for you if...
You want to create an amazing user experience that your clients will rave about.
You know that design is important, but you have no idea where to start.
You've started creating layouts but you're overwhelmed by all the possibilities and options.
You've started reading about UI and UX design methods and principles, but you're overwhelmed by the idea of learning a new way to design.
You want an easy, straightforward system to learn the important aspects of UI and UX design in 8 weeks.
On the flip-side...
This is not for you if...
You don’t believe in the value of design or see how it can help you grow your business.
You’re looking for a “quick fix” for design issues you’re having in a particular solution.
You prefer to learn by trial and error on client work.
You’re not interested in being a beginner at something and practicing it to get better.
what our STUDENTS are saying
This course was the perfect mix of fun and informative, I most certainly got a lot from it. I think it would be beneficial to any developer looking for a fresh approach to problem-solving and ways of designing solutions around your client's workflows.
—Orlando Pellicano, Data OPS
The solid focus on user stories and acceptance criteria deepened my appreciation of the benefits from careful design planning. While we had always paid attention to this area, Alexis raised our understanding and skills to a new level. This will lead to better results for clients from the outset.
—John Mathewson, Kyo Logic
Learning about design from Alexis changed the way I ask questions during projects. How the user experiences the system is now as important as every other technical decision. I now strive to make the apps I build to be as easy to learn as a game on your phone.
—SALVATORE COLANGELO, GOYA
Hi, I’m Alexis!
I’m a FileMaker developer and UI/UX designer who works with other FileMaker developers to help them improve their design skills, so that they can deliver modern-looking, usable solutions their clients will love. I’m from Toronto, Ontario, and have a music performance degree in cello from the University of Toronto. I’m also a committed crafter, and there’s always at least four knit, crochet, or sewing projects lying around the house in various states of completion.
More relevant to you, I’ve been working in FileMaker since version 3, and I’ve helped many clients over the years to develop and implement great-looking and hard-working FileMaker apps. I’ve delivered several presentations on UI/UX design at the FileMaker Developers’ Conference (now known as Claris Engage). One of my passions is sharing my design knowledge with fellow developers, so that even more people can benefit from the principles of good design.
Why I created this:
I wanted to create a course where I taught my method, because the one thing I love more than doing FileMaker design projects is teaching other people how to do FileMaker design projects!
When I talk about design, I hear a lot from developers who feel like they aren’t creative or design-oriented. But Workflow Design is not really about being creative. It’s a lot more about how you approach the project in the first place, and what you decide to focus on when building the layouts.
I also want to debunk the myth that following a design process will simply add time and cost to a project. Au contraire, mon frère! Having a design process will actually save you time because your project will go much more smoothly and predictably. And being predictable means you can control costs more easily.
I want to demystify the design process so that it doesn’t intimidate you. Instead, you can follow a reliable design process that will create a solid foundation for your work.
I firmly believe that these are skills almost anyone can learn—even if you don’t know it yet!
what THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE WORKFLOW DESIGN WORKSHOP
Through Alexis’ course, our team of developers have learned how to put the User Story front and center in planning and developing features. She also taught us the best techniques to solve difficult User Interface issues in ways that we had never thought about before. Her course gives developers the tools and the right perspective to solve problems in the best possible way to give the best possible experience and outcome to the end user.
—JUSTIN HESSER, KYO LOGIC
Since taking the course, I look at every FM layout, document, and webpage more critically. I’m also looking very carefully at how I start projects. Instead of diving in, taking the time to analyze the purpose and user in order to make it more welcoming to read and use. This is just scratching the surface! Every week gave me lots of food for thought!
—BARBARA DALY, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
The Workflow Design Workshop
Each week, you’ll learn about a different topic. Then, you’ll practice your skills by completing the homework assignments. Here’s your roadmap:
Why should you invest your time doing UX design? What even is good design? And why is it important? You’ll learn the answers to all these questions, as well as how to level-up your UX by structuring your app around user workflows instead of back-end data tables. You’ll also learn how to define the scope of your app—and why it’s equally important to the success of your project to define what you won’t be building. Finally, we’ll talk about how having a vision can help you design better products.
Week 2: Creative Problem-Solving Success
When planning an app, it’s important to describe exactly what problems you need to solve. We sometimes skip through it quickly, often making lots of assumptions. We can also fall back into old, familiar solutions that feel “safe”, instead of exploring fresh new ideas that can inject interest and excitement into our work. Bench your inner judge and unleash your innate insight with exercises designed boost your creativity. Learn how writing Just-Right Problem Statements can uncover the juiciest problems where you can add the most value. And see how having some constraints actually increases the quality of your ideas! This lesson will get you out of your rut, improve your creative muscle, and help you look at your projects (and maybe even the world!) in a whole new way.
Week 3: Building Bridges: Structure and Information Architecture
You’re probably familiar with data architecture. But have you ever thought about your information architecture? Users care about information, not data. Transform boring data into tantalizing information by leveraging different aspects of the information architecture and playing around with potential structures. This, in turn, can revolutionize the way you build the rest of the user experience. Also explore the importance of having and communicating a clear hierarchy, learn which types of diagrams are most helpful for defining your structure, and dig into the different kinds of navigation you need to include to create a rich user experience.
Week 4: User Flow to User Goals
You absolutely cannot create an amazing user experience without connecting authentically with your users. You need to thoroughly understand who they are and what they hope to achieve, in order to design the best workflow for them. Learn how empathy, creating quality personas and writing good user stories are key to building a solution that works—and delights users at the same time. Plus, thinking through the workflows step by step will also make later phases a breeze!
Week 5: Wonderful Wireframing
A wireframe is the foundation of your user interface, and the start of your design coming to life. Think of a wireframe as the blueprint for the app you’re going to build. You wouldn’t build your dream house without a plan, right? Since wireframes are made up of just lines and shapes, it’s easy to experiment with different possible designs. You can also validate your workflows and play with design details without investing any time in development. Learn some techniques to help you expand your design toolbox, even if you’ve never created a wireframe before.
Week 6: Design Pattern Perfection
If you have a design problem, chances are that someone else has already come up with a solution. So you don’t need to wrack your brain or reinvent the wheel each time you design—you can call on your repertoire of design patterns to help users get things done quickly and easily. Learn a range of the most common design patterns to solve user problems in a flash. All the ones we cover are FileMaker-native and many of them can be spotted inside of FileMaker itself!
Week 7: Demystifying Visual Design
The look of your UI is the part of your app that everyone sees, so it’s important to get it right. A clean, polished UI that adheres to good design principles allows your app to really shine. And yet, it’s one of the aspects of design that students often struggle with the most. But it doesn’t have to be like that! The more you know about the principles underlying every good design, the easier it gets. Learn just how easy it can be to select colours. Also see how visual design principles work together to support and guide your user through the processes you have so carefully designed for them.
Week 8: Ultimate Usability
Create more intuitive and engaging apps by applying usability principles to your planning process, without spending any extra development time! Understanding the weird and wonderful features of human cognition, vision, memory, and behaviour will help make you a better designer. Because when your app closely matches the way people think, see, and behave, they’ll be amazed at how easy everything seems—and call you a genius! This road trip through human psychology will help you move your users in the direction of success!
This course has given me the confidence to take on certain challenging new projects that I might have shied away from in the past. Now that I’ve learned a structured design process, I finally feel comfortable taking on more complex UI/UX work, because I know exactly what to do and in what order.
—ROBERT NAUD, ACCOLADE PLUS ACCOLADE
There’s more! You’ll also get...
Workflow Design Workshop Core Curriculum
8 weeks of step-by-step videos
Weekly assignments and challenges to grow your UI/UX muscle
Themed Template Files
Fully functional, themed .fmp12 template files created for you
User Flowchart Template
Quickly and easily get up and running with a user workflow template
User Persona Template
Model your target users by collecting your research into this handy template
Links, books, and articles that provide additional helpful information
Exclusive Students-Only Community
Get personalized feedback from me in the student community
You can start right now! New videos are released each week for 8 weeks. This is to give you time and opportunity to work on the assignments and really practice before you start a new topic.
What’s the weekly time commitment for this course?
It depends on your goals, level of commitment, and how much time you have available. Each week consists of video lectures and homework. So, it’s a commitment of about 2-3 hours per week at minimum. But the more time you spend practicing these skills, the faster you‘ll progress.
Do I need experience with FileMaker before taking the course?
Yes, you should have at least some experience with database theory and FileMaker development. At a minimum, you should be familiar with creating tables, relationships, and calculations, and with how to use the layout tools. However, you don’t need to be a FileMaker expert to benefit from this course.
Can I try out the course before I buy?
Yes! You can watch a sample lesson for free. Sign up for the Free Preview. Inside, you can watch the introductory Week 0 video, where I explain what Workflow-Based Design is and why you might want to learn more about it. You can download the course syllabus, and you can see the complete course structure and individual lesson topics.
How is the course structured?
As soon as you enroll, you can watch the introductory video. The next day, your Week 1 video will be released. After that, a new series of lessons is released every seven days. There is homework after each lesson, which I encourage you to complete, as it will give you an opportunity to practice the skills.
How do I access the course?
Upon purchasing the course, you’ll receive instructions about how to access the course.
How long do I have access to the course?
You have access for as long as you want, but at minimum one year. The course won't expire, but I make this 1-year disclaimer because I don’t like the term “lifetime access” that is common in the online course space and I want to make it a little clearer.
Is the course offered in other languages?
The course videos are in English. However, captions are available in English, French, and Italian. I speak all three languages reasonably well, so if you post in the community I’ll be able to answer you.
Will I be able to get feedback on my work?
Yes. You can post your homework or questions in the course community, where you can receive feedback and support from me and your fellow students (both past and present!). A few times a year, I’ll open enrollment for live feedback sessions (for an additional fee). In these sessions, you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have, share your work, and get personalized advice from me.
I don't have a Facebook account. Can I still access the community?
Yes! The exclusive, students-only community is not hosted on Facebook. You can use your course login credentials to seamlessly access the community.
14-day Money Back Guarantee
If The Workflow Design Workshop truly is not for you, please send us your first two completed assignments within 14 days of the start of the course, and we will issue you a full refund.
After those 14 days, you're stuck with us! (Though I think you'll see that's a very good thing.)