Interface Innovation since 1983

We provide rigorous design services to the financial community, the re/insurance industry and other knowledge-work fields. By “rigorous” we mean we develop tools that carefully apply the findings of Cognitive Science and Visual Perception. The field is called “Cognitive Engineering.” We also teach others how to do it.

The techniques are applied through a design methodology that, among other things, prevents systems from being coded and then bounced back for fixes, or even killed: a frighteningly common and expensive occurrence. It happens when management doesn’t realize that business analysts, users, and coders rarely have the skill sets necessary to properly specify an optimal tool based on hidden parts of expert workflow. (Everyone thinks they’re an interaction designer, and will step up to do it, until they see the real thing…    ;​)

The methodology has been applied to dozens of knowledge-work domains by my students and myself, and has always delivered benefits over standard UX methods. In addition to preventing wasted coding efforts or killed projects on the production level, it has demonstrated increases of information density on screens or in prints by 2–20 times while easing readability; it can directly help increase productivity, reduce risk, improve transparency and audit history, and help experts focus on higher-level insight & innovation within their fields.


Brad Paley • Founder, Cognitive Engineer

Professor Paley’s Cognitive Engineering Design Methodology was born in the real world, in 1999 when Goldman Sachs tasked him with optimizing broker transactions on the floor of the NYSE.

The NYSE itself hired him a decade later, and by applying a more evolved methodology he delivered an objectively-measured fifteen to twenty times speed improvement for refill orders. Just before that his design for NYSE Specialists put five times the characters and—a better information-density metric—could evoke some fifteen times the insights than the existing system.

Since then the methodology has been applied at dozens of Wall St. clients, Insurance analytics/data providers, and systems across 50 other domains. Each time the displays have had 10-100x more information than before—but were paradoxically easier to read, digest, and take action upon.

Paley holds four US patents in computer/human interface work and has given keynote/plenary talks at every major international Information Visualization symposium. He was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor in the Columbia Wu School of Engineering to develop and teach a graduate class about his own methodology. His Phi Beta Kappa degree in Economics / 4.0 minor in Computer Science was earned at U. C. Berkeley. His work has won numerous design awards, and has been featured in scores of books and publications, including the New York Times, ID Magazine, and the journal Nature. Though always functional, the work has been recognized in both the design and fine art worlds: exhibited in MoMA, commissioned into the permanent collection of the Whitney; Paley is a NYSCA grantee and a NYFA fellow.

Starting with TTY computer graphics in BASIC in 1973, he’s coded in more than thirty computer languages. To this day he does both prototype coding and system architecture to ensure the designs are straightforward to implement, as he continues studying how humans communicate and think. As a result his designs integrate human with computers at a more fundamental level than engineers or designers can with existing off-the-rack libraries.

Peter Kennard • Architect, Project Lead

40 years interactive system architecture/design; robust
engineering for mobile embedded-to-server messaging infrastructure

Warren Kemp • Graphics

Graphic designer; identity package, branding, corporate presence expert; 20-year relationship; if a project looks elegant and strong on this site he was instrumental

Andrew Friedman • Business Manager

Managing didi for almost a decade; top-150 ranked US Scrabble player for longer!