Brian Glaeske

I am a user experience designer working at a startup in Fargo, ND called FarmQA. FarmQA is at the intersection of tech and agriculture. We are driving towards a vision of providing analytics for IoT data to growers across the world. As the principal designer at FarmQA, my job responsibilities span from defining the vision for our software products, researching our users, driving the design language, SEO and marketing, and of course meeting our customer's needs.


Principal Designer — FarmQA

2017 to present

Responsible for all aspects of the user experience of FarmQA's suite of products. My current accomplishments include:

  • Completed 2 stages of the redesign of FarmQA Controller. The first phase was reworking the base navigation. The 2nd was redesigning the map interface. Goals of both efforts were to make a better experience for our users by making the interface more usable as well as making it beautiful.
  • Designed and developed with an eye towards the SEO of the site
  • Directed the completion of a new logo and brand system for FarmQA
  • Designed our first mobile application, FarmQA Scouting
  • Designed trade show marketing materials

At FarmQA, worked with the team to update the design of the Controller application. As an engineering team, we designed and implemented our first mobile product, FarmQA Scouting. I have directed the effort to redesign the FarmQA logo, and I have defined a visual language for FarmQA products based on the Material design language with a bit of Microsoft's Fluent.

User Experience Designer — Microsoft

2001 to 2017

Responsible for the design and user experience architecture of a wide range of user experiences within Microsoft Dynamics including applications for Finance and HR departments. In this role, I translated user requirements, business problems, and scenarios into efficient interfaces using storyboards, wireframes, prototypes, and usability testing.

With a collaborative team, defined the user interface implementation strategy and architecture for the web-based presentation framework, specifically defining how HTML and CSS were used. I was also been responsible for make sure that our product designs are accessible.

Additional responsibilities include abstracting the core interaction patterns from a set of over 3000 forms with the end goal of creating a framework that allows us to make all 3000+ forms more consistent.

  • As user experience architect, defined the strategy for the next generation HTML5 based Dynamics AX for desktop and mobile experiences.
  • Defined the HTML5 and CSS3 coding guidelines for the presentation framework and implemented the LESS CSS compiler.
  • Led the implementation of the CSS3 framework for the presentation framework and mentored other designers in CSS3.
  • Designed the Dynamics AX 2012 user experience in collaboration with other designers. Wrote guidelines for program managers and third party ISVs.
  • Designed the user experiences for an HTML based HRM module.
  • Defined and designed a new information architecture for Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Designed and received a patent application for a dynamic user interaction model based the configuration of an adaptive business process.


FarmQA Controller

Picture of FarmQA Controller Picture of FarmQA Controller

One of the first accomplishments when I started at FarmQA was to create a FarmQA visual language. The designs for the new FarmQA Controller are just being implemented with much of the work centered around making a more elegant mapping interface. The web app also has an overall emphasis on discoverability.

Picture of FarmQA Controller Picture of FarmQA Controller

One of the first items on my list when I started at FarmQA was to create a FarmQA visual language. The work on the FarmQA Controller product was to reimagine the interface to align with current SPA (single page webapp) standards, such as navigation on the left and rich visualizations. Also, the overall design language emphasizes discoverability.

Picture of FarmQA Controller Picture of FarmQA Controller

One of the first items on my list when I started at FarmQA was to create a FarmQA visual language. The work on the FarmQA Controller product was to reimagine the interface to align with current SPA (single page webapp) standards, such as navigation on the left and rich visualizations. Also, the overall design language emphasizes discoverability.

The FarmQA Controller provides the user with the main interface into the farming data. FarmQA Controller primary interface is that of a map. The provide multiple layers as well as a task based system for managing the data collected about each of the fields.

FarmQA Scouting

FarmQA Scouting Map FarmQA Scouting Map

This is the main report interface for the Scouting app. The scout can use this to see the locations in a field that they have scouted and those areas they may need to visit.

FarmQA Scouting Question List FarmQA Scouting Question List

The FarmQA Scouting app is flexible and can handle any type of crop or field. It is built to optimize data entry unlike many other scouting applications on the market.

Picture of FarmQA Scouting Picture of FarmQA Scouting

For each question, the scout can draw additional details on the map and take pictures of the problem.

FarmQA Scouting was written in Cordova as a cross platform mobile application. The app is targetted at people who scout fields during the growing season. It supports a user configurable question system that allows a site to create custom scouting templates for each crop.

FarmQA Site

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This is the The design of this page to attract people to the FarmQA vision and product lines.

My first priority after staring at FarmQA was to reimagine the FarmQA web presence. After directing the re-imagination of the FarmQA logo, I started to work in earnest on the FarmQA site. At this stage in the company life, the primary goal of the site was to inform prospective customer and investors about what FarmQA stands for and what our ambitions are.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Talent

Picture of Talent Picture of Talent

This is an example of a new card oriented page designed for this product. The idea was to provide a snapshot of an employee all in one view. An additional element was that the primary navigation was that of an organizational chart. This control was very dynamic and fun to use.

Picture of AX 2012 list page Picture of AX 2012 list page

This is the manager's primary page. This page allowed the manager to see a snapshot of their team as well as being able to see details of any of them.

Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form

The Benefit management workspace is targeted at a benefit manager of a company. It was designed as a one stop shop for everything related to benefits. In contrast the previous AX version of Benefits was composed of 100's of forms and a large menu.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Talent is a re-imagined version the Microsoft Dynamics AX Human Resources module. As the primary designer for this effort I developed the design goals for this product. Those goals included:

  • Simplicity. Since this was migrated from AX, it was inheriting a fair bit of complexity.
  • Delightful. We wanted to improve upon the flow and function of the AX animations and took it to another level.
  • Functional. And above all we still had to be functional and do all of the things that human resource managers needed as well as employees.

I also designed the innovative "people centric" navigation paradigm that focused the main navigation on people. The key element of this design is the people navigator, which presents the organization chart of a company as the primary way to navigate the product.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Picture of AX Picture of AX

This is an example of the many forms that we migrated from AX 2012 to HTML. The migration of some forms was rather straight forward but others presented challenges.

Picture of AX 2012 list page Picture of AX 2012 list page

An example of a new concept called Workspaces, introduced in this release. This page type collects and displays the user many different aspects of their status in from the many different chunks of data stored in the HRM database.

Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form

Another element of the new HTML based AX, was an enhanced filtering design. This design is based on a familiar left-side navigation and presents the criteria in very understandable terms.

In the future, we hope to enhance this to be a full faceted filtering experience.

This product re-imagined Microsoft Dynamics AX from a Windows based application to a single page web app.

As the user experience architect, I facilitated the design strategy for the common usage patterns and rework of AX from a Windows application to HTML. This project has required the design team to deliver:

  • Task analysis and task type development based on the Dynamics Customer Model. The task type analysis led to the development of basic interaction patterns for an ERP system.
  • Scenario development and research
  • Scenario based wireframes
  • Wireframe toolkit development
  • User interface component design and specification
  • Component prototyping and front-end development using HTML5, CSS and Javascript
  • User interface guidelines and upgrade strategies from the legacy product
  • Led a team of front-end developers working on the CSS and HTML for the client of Dynamics AX. Assisted in implementation of a visual test strategy and architected the CSS standards for the organization.
  • Defined the CSS architecture for a multi-device, multiple theme and responsive web application.
  • Control development within the custom Angular- like binding services developed for Dynamics AX.

Dynamics AX 2012

Picture of AX 2012 detail form Picture of AX 2012 detail form

An example of a form that embodies the entity detail pattern. Due to the complex nature of the data stored required by the users, a complete information architecture had to be designed for forms like this. In this case, multiple iterations of the form were produced and tested with users. We also used card sorts to assist with refining the design of the information.

Picture of AX 2012 list page Picture of AX 2012 list page

For list pages in the system, we added elements called Factboxes to the right side of the window. Factboxes allowed the user to see additional information about the selection, without having to drill down on the full entity. Our goal with the list pages was to provide the ultimate interface in the system where a user could find the data they need to work with and work against that data.

Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form Picture of AX 2012 Simple List and Details form

Another key form that we introduced was what we call a Simple List & Details. This form pattern replaced a form pattern that we found to be unusable by a majority of new users. We used automated tools and manual verification to convert over 200 forms to this pattern.

For the Dynamics AX 2012 release I led the team designing the core user experiences. This team researched the common problems and pain points across the system and determined how best to solve these issues for maximum benefit. The team redefined the patterns used by over 1000 forms.

A key challenge of the project was how convert over 3000 existing forms to new patterns in a cost effective manner.

Web-based HRM

Picture of HRM landing page Picture of HRM landing page

The landing page for this product was envisioned to serve the needs of the employee and a manager. It was also to be used by the human resources department to publish news and information to the employees about important upcoming events.

The navigation of this product used a tabbed navigation system that was envisioned to be simple and understandable to a majority of the users.

Picture of HRM performance management page Picture of HRM performance management page

The performance management landing page for an employee shows the employee the current status of the performance management process. Additionally, if the employee is also a manager, the page shows information related to the status of the manager's direct reports.

Throughout the product, progressive disclosure mechanisms, or super tooltips, were utilized to make information in the system easy to access.

Picture of HRM hiring activity center Picture of HRM hiring activity center

This page shows an activity center for a recruiter. This page shows for a given position to be hired the status of all of the applicants for the position. Clicking on one of the stacks would open a list of applicants and provide a set of actions that could be taken against each one including viewing their resume and application.

This was to be a brand new HRM application integrating to Microsoft Dynamics to provide web-based access to human resource data to employees. The design task was to deliver designs, guidelines and research. One of the primary innovations of this project was an interaction pattern library of the acceptable patterns. Research and learning about users of a human resource application allows development and many new innovations, including the use of expanded tooltips and activity centers.

Activity Centers

Picture of payment activity center Picture of payment activity center

Each activity shown in an activity center is divided into stages and tasks. The stages were typically numbered and the tasks within each stage displayed as links or buttons.

This activity center shows a continuous process that provides a financial supervisor with insight into the progress of the process. It also provides workers with insight into what they need to do next.

Picture of year end close activity center Picture of year end close activity center

This activity center illustrates how a checklist process would be visualized. In comparison to the previous illustration, the stages and tasks of this activity center are much more discrete and have a set start and due date.

The design for activity centers came out of an extended research and analysis project around defining the ERP customer model. The activity center is a set of elements helping a user understand the status of work in a long running business process. It does this by showing the user what they need to do to complete their work within that process and what other people are working on. The set of elements shown in an activity center is determined by the customized business process.

As shown below, activity centers can take many shapes as appropriate to the business process.

Project Time and Expense

Picture of Windows Phone project application Picture of Windows Phone project application

For each project, a view of the tasks for that project are displayed. The information about each task includes title, description, due date, completion, and priority. Additional views provided the ability to display the tasks in a timeline or by due date.

Picture of Windows Phone project application Picture of Windows Phone project application

An important performance indicator for a project team member is to ensure that their utilization numbers are high. One view displays the utilization for the team member in a natural manner including the use of a spark line to show the utilization trend over time.

Picture of Windows Phone project application Picture of Windows Phone project application

Important to the project is that each project team members needs an efficient method of entering their time. Typically, this is a pain point with the users. This form was made as simple and efficient as possible. It was also envisioned that the time against a task could be entered using voice.

This is an exploration of a product to allow people to log project time and expenses in a service industry on the Windows Phone platform. The core scenario for this mobile application is that of monitoring tasks and deliverables.

Dynamics GP

Picture of GP Lists and ribbon Picture of GP Lists and ribbon

This is one of the first explorations around re-envisioning the data presentation within the ERP system. In this case, we expanded upon concepts in the popular GP SmartList utility by adding better filtering and actions in a ribbon.

By the time this version of GP shipped, we had implemented a new set of user interface controls for navigation, and actions.

Picture of GP Home page Picture of GP Home page

This is a vision for the Dynamics GP home page. The home page was to show the user a summary of the work that they had to do in the system as well as important business metrics and insights.

Picture of Advanced security Picture of Advanced security

This screen shows the implementation of a design that became the Advanced Security utility. The key problem addressed by the design was the fact that many administrators did not set up security in GP. As it turned out, the problem was that the interfaces for setting up security were too hard to use. This design presented the elements to secure in a similar way to how a user would navigate to the item. This made the task of securing a resource much easier and more predictable.

Over the course of several years working on Dynamics GP and Dexterity, I was involved in the design of several key product features, including:

  • Dynamics Explorer/Smartlist
  • Dynamics GP home pages
  • Dynamics Lists
  • Dexterity Tree view and List view controls
  • Advanced security
  • Dynamics GP Utilities

Oasis Plantscapes

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The home page outlines the key information about Oasis Plantscapes with links to deeper. The goal of this page was to be attractive to the potential clients to keep them clicking for more information.

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This page outlines the key services offered Oasis Plantscapes with links to more in depth information on each service. The organization of this information roughly follows the landscape design process.

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The portfolio page is a simple photo album style presentation with the ability to click on each picture for a larger version. A standard lightbox Javascript utility was used.

The owner of Oasis Plantscapes wanted a presence on the web for his business. After a discussion with him of the key requirements, I created several options as composites for the owner to review. The composites used Oasis Plantscapes original color schemes. The basic information to organize was information about the work that Oasis performs, information about the company, and a portfolio of their work.

The pages were generated using PHP to allow reuse of the HTML across the pages and to dynamically populate the portfolio album.