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UI/UX for machine learning to tame and make sense of visual assets

Release Date January 2017

Zorroa Ongoing UI/UX

Zorroa works with Sawaya Consulting on an ongoing basis to design the UI/UX of their powerful machine learning platform.

Zorroa had an amazing prototype. It’s an incredibly sophisticated platform that combines asset management, futuristic visual search, and business intelligence. They brought us on board to present this powerful engineering in an intuitive user interface.

Client Since

November 2016

Other Projects


VC Pitch Materials


We began the process of working with Zorroa by identifying their Personas.

– Who are the people that use this system?
– What would they say about Zorroa in their own words?
– How often do they use it?
– What is their technical skill level?

Answering these questions kept the team aligned and working towards meeting customer needs and not just building something that we thought would be cool or interesting or building something just because we could.

Please note, some of this information is confidential and has been obscured or redacted from this presentation. 

Once we knew who our users were we could focus on what we wanted them to be able to do. We built sitemaps, user flows, and brainstormed solutions. We built out and continue to maintain a styleguide for the project.

As the platform comes together some things just work. Some things…not so much. Once we had a good base we started to tackle problems from different ends—sometimes the engineers would pull together a prototype and we would lay the UI on top. Sometimes we would do a UI and then the engineers would base the functionality and code on that.

Working in this flexible way keeps everyone efficient, prevents bottle necks, and provides the most well-rounded and collaborative environment for ideas to thrive.

Different taskbars based on the type of file you are viewing. Planning for multiple options prevents corner cases that turn ugly.

Project Story

Zorra wanted to walk us through the platform—but we wouldn’t let them. You only get one chance to see things fresh. We wanted to try it as a new user and see what we could figure out and what frustrated us.


Zorroa UI/UX is an ongoing project. We dropped right in with the team for a long engagement. We work with customer feedback, new features, and general user experience improvements. That’s the power of a firm that is involved from the business side to beyond client delivery.

This platform is absolutely amazing in action and we can’t wait to see what happens in the future. Check out just a few use cases below. 

Amber joined the team for Launch Festival in San Francisco.

In this screen capture above you can see the system find similar images—lightening fast! There are many search modes to help people find, access, and use visual assets with the help from the latest AI.

Zorroa ingested large sets of public data to run machine learning tests on. The platform is sophisticated enough that it can tell the difference between ‘groups of people’, ‘people posing for group photos’, and ‘armies’ without any human interference.

How good is Zorroa’s machine learning app?

A major movie studio needed to complete a specific video search—it took 27 man-hours to complete the request. With Zorroa, the same task took 3 minutes.

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

An oil and gas client needed to complete a M&A valuation with untagged images and PDFs. It took 3 months and they were only able to complete 10% data coverage. With Zorroa, the same task took 1 month with 90% data coverage.

Images courtesy of Common Data Access Limited.

Evolving UI design

Zorroa is always evolving. Here are several UI pieces from various stages for the project. 

Feedback from the Client

I wish working with every consulting group were as outstanding as our experience with Sawaya Consulting—flawless project management, clear communication, and a relentless ability to deliver.  There are UI designers and then there is Amber, who seems to have “creative AND usable interactive interface” running through her blood. It’s a complete joy to work with her, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Beth Loughney
Founder, CEO and Director, Zorroa Corp

Sawaya’s UX designs save me hours of programming time with well-thought out mockups that allow our developers to build the UI right the first time. This helps us provide a clear vision to align our technology and business teams and we are able to get a head start communicating our plans to customers and investors.

Dan Wexler
CTO and Director, Zorroa Corp