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About the VA Group 


We’re a group of experienced designers, developers, researchers, writers, and data enthusiasts who like to tackle complex, unique problems. Our favorite projects are often in unfamiliar disciplines, working with domain experts who want to explore novel solutions to interesting questions. We’ve worked with healthcare professionals to redesign the patient data pipeline, with farming advocates to build interfaces to help farmers calculate land costs, and with scientists to build tools to visualize genomes, cells, and virus outbreaks.

We're interested in clients who want to think with us: problem solving and iterating on potential solutions while learning from their data.


Sometimes we're starting with spreadsheets or databases, sometimes it's piles of papers, and sometimes we have to seek out the right data sources ourselves. It's never perfect, but we love the process of untangling the mess and finding what is of value. Our projects range from six week sprints to multi-year engagements, but no matter what we’re committed to using design to build tools that are easy to use, fun to explore, and substantive in their treatment of the data.

What We Do.

Collaborating with academia, industry, government

  • Collaborative spirit, define together what we want to do

  • Help define a problem (contributing domain expertise)

  • Help scientists to realize communications to the public

Types of problems

  • Science

  • Many of our projects fall in the healthcare and genomics domain, but given the nature team (we’re very curious and open-minded), we don’t limit ourselves to. like to work on other topics too. These include food security and geographical studies.

  • Any project that we can make use of our expertises. (e.g. seek for another data science project but may not associated with science)

We like to find what some people call “complex problems”

  • Using software to make impacts in science

  • Solving state of the art problems from the real world practices

  • Examples

    • Mayo Clinic - need a system to help healthcare providers and researchers to use genomic data

    • NIH - need data analytics for interpreting COVID and Flu data


  • Software that you can actually use

  • Publications

UX Research

Learn from domain experts, stakeholders and users about their requirements and constraints. Identify high-value application targets and starting scope. Generate journey maps, scenarios, user flows, etc to support design decisions. Test design ideas with validative sessions and wireframes.


App Strategy

Define user stories for initial scope according to the insights gained from user research. Suggest design ideas to refine the mapping of functionality and development plan together with clients.

App Research & Strategy

App Assessment

Critique old Apps or “competitive Apps”. Since we usually cooperate with researchers in an academic setting, the competitive Apps are usually “similar Apps” or “inspirational Apps”.


Promotion Planning

We haven’t done much of this in the past, but feel it is an important part of the process.

UI/UX Design, Prototyping & Systems

Low-fi Wireframing

Draft the App strategy mentioned above in app design software such as Sketch or Figma. This includes wireframing user flows, use case scenarios and interactions. These can also be translated into a low-fi clickable prototype to illustrate the paths through the app and functionality tied to specific user profiles.

High-fi Prototyping

Design high fidelity mockups that include app identity details such as logo, color, typography etc, and visual details that define the unique character of the application as well as supporting the function of the application.  These may also be translated into clickable prototypes that showcase functionality as well as visual design.

Visualization Design 

Designing the display of data, considering such things as information hierarchy, readability, data interaction, and supporting workflows.


Design Systems and Style Guides

Provide design system, UI pattern library, or design guidelines from a pure designer’s perspective in a context of UX observations.


Design Sprints 

Conduct interactive design brainstorming with developers, business analysts, clients and other stakeholders.

Learn more about us and our work on our blog!

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