User experience design
We help teams design web and mobile applications that people understand and value.

Information architecture, interaction design, usability, and visual interface design & consulting


work view portfolio

Much of our current work is under NDA and involves designing suites of applications for productivity and big data. We've also collaborated with over 15 departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helped launch social good and digital magazine startups, and consulted with e-commerce sites. To request access to our private demo site, please contact us.

4Info admin UI design

Big data product UX & IA UX & IA site and admin UX design digital magazine marketplace

Curaspan application UX, UI, and visual design

Endeca (now Oracle) product admin UI design

Evidence4Action advocacy sites IA

International Development Innovation Network website planning

Juniper internal app research & concept

LoveToKnow visual design & usability testing

MIT Annotation Studio UI design

MIT Biology IA and user testing

MIT Human Resources IA & visual design

MIT Sloan Experts database & blog

Texterity digital magazine reader design

MIT US-Iran document archive

Science Festival Alliance website refresh

Tufts University Advancement usability & form design


We love helping people access and understand digital tools and information. This has driven our work since 1996, when we met, and together designed, the first website for a Boston university. Tania designed, Debby coded. We both edited content and defined structure. Fortunately, we've learned a lot since then.

We've been designing dynamic applications since 2000, when we were both at ATG, the early web personalization pioneer. Since 2004, we've worked with developers and business owners to design applications that help people work, find, learn, and connect.

deborah a. levinson

Deborah A. Levinson photo

Debby bridges gaps between the design, engineering, and communications worlds, with over 20 years of experience helping these groups develop well-organized and intuitive sites and applications. She particularly enjoys translating complicated administrative processes into powerful but easy-to-use interfaces.

Debby is an MIT graduate, and in addition to co-writing Visual Usability, co-authored The MIT Guide to Teaching Web Site Design, published by the MIT Press in April 2001.

tania schlatter

Tania Schlatter photo

Equally interested in content and form, Tania is dedicated to using visual design to help people understand and use technology.

Formal study includes an MDes in human-centered communication design from IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, a BFA in graphic design from Boston University, and a summer with Paul Rand and Armin Hofmann in Switzerland.

Tania teaches interactive information design to graduate students at Northeastern University.


Digital interfaces rely on common visual design tools to communicate – layout, type, color, and imagery, along with controls and affordances. We've written Visual Usability: Principles and Practices for Designing Digital Applications to provide a common language for defining and evaluating visual user interfaces that's grounded in how people perceive and interpret what they see.

Each chapter offers guidance on how to make strategic decisions about layout, type, color, imagery, and controls and affordances that will bridge the gap between beautiful and useful applications.

"Unlike many simplistic show-and-tell how-tos, this thoughtful, serious, and clearly written book is organized to first provide the logic for design decisions and then the tools to make them. This approach delivers a deep appreciation for designing intuitive digital applications that promote understanding and satisfaction for the user." Chris Pullman, senior critic, Yale School of Art, and former VP of design and branding, WGBH Boston
"This book provides very valuable information on how to improve the usability of visual human-computer interfaces. All of the chapters will interest researchers, practitioners, and students of usability, human-computer interaction, interaction design, graphic design, and other related fields who want to know more about the important and expanding area of visual usability." Computing Reviews, May 28, 2014
"[A]n excellent choice for the instructor looking for a textbook detailing the major principles and practices of designing Web site or mobile device interfaces. Particularly effective is the authors' running critique of the USDA Web site, SuperTracker, for its strengths and weaknesses in visual usability." Technical Communication, May 2014
Visual Usability book cover

contact us

Got a question or comment? We'd love to hear from you. or 617.499.1925 x102 | User experience, UX, IA, UI design • Boston, MA | © 2014 Nimble Partners, LLC