Fourteen years of research, design and leadership. Some of the projects I've worked on are under Non-Disclosure Agreements - for these I've only included white-labelled designs and indicative figures.
- User research - Scottish Government, Clydesdale Bank, SLC
- Product Design / UI Design - ACM, Royal London, freelance
- Design Lead / UX strategy - ACCA, Scottish National Investment Bank
July 2020 - present: Interaction Designer for Snook / the Home Office
I'm helping the Home Office improve their online services by engaging with staff and service users:
Building prototypes for usability testing using the GDS and Home Office tool kits
Designing the flow, patterns and components for a complex online service
Supporting the User Researchers and Service Designers as they run research with Service Users
Running an accessibility audit and coaching developers in best practice based on W3C standards
Running workshops with other Interaction Designers to develop an in-house design system
May 2020 - July 2020: freelance User Researcher / UX designer
I worked as a Product Manager and author for User Research Explained. We brought together User Researchers from around the world to contribute essays to present the most vital topics in UR practice in a readable format. I was thrilled to work with Indi Young and Steve Portigal who contributed essays.
I also worked on:
- The website haver.scot which contains interviews of start-ups and creative people. I forming a start-up UX collective, Haver, with some talented designers based in Scotland
- Researching a new service for Momentpin, an ethically-conscious social media app.
- UX research and UI design for Charlie Charlie One, a start-up developing a counselling service and app for army verterans
- Freelance eCommerce design for Whitespace.
January – May 2020: Senior User Researcher for the Scottish National Investment Bank
I helped this new government bank design its service by running User Research for a Discovery project:
- gap analysis and desk research to explore the problem space
- developed research questions with the team and engaged with stakeholders (Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise)
- carried out a program of semi-structured interviews with businesses and introducers
- lead sense-making workshops with colleagues to identify themes and user needs, involving the wider team to produce actionable insights
- with a product owner and service designer, ran workshops to develop the findings into a service blueprint and content strategy
- shared findings in accessible formats – illustration, show and tells and rich pictures
- connected with the wider government User Research community, including organising a critique of my research plan
June - December 2019: User Researcher for the Scottish Government
I worked on the Scottish Government’s Social Security programme to create a better service for disabled people applying for benefits.
- planning and carrying out a programme of research studies, including making an ethics plan and meeting DPIA requirements
- running primary research with citizens, 3rd sector workers and colleagues: interviews, observations and co-design sessions
- data analysis on survey results and DWP data; presenting results to agile teams using simplified, engaging graphics
- running kick-off sessions to define research questions - “Research as a team sport”
- running sense-making workshops to analyse research outputs and provide insights on user needs
- playing back findings to a variety of colleagues and taking on feedback for future research
- creating user needs, maps and diagrams to summarise research
- helping coach teams on agile methodologies, including sprint planning
February - May 2019: User Researcher for the Scottish Government
I worked as a pure User Researcher for the Scottish Government’s Payments project:
- identifying users and stakeholders and planning an engagement strategy
- interviewing and running contextual enquiries to answer service design questions
- creating and analysing an online survey
- working with a lead User Researcher to meet the Scottish Government’s Digital First standard, with regular health checks to make sure we cover data protection and privacy rules
September 2018 - January 2019: UX designer / researcher for ACM
I led a complete redesign of the Case Management software AdvicePro for a small but dynamic software house:
- planned and carried out a program of user research including contextual enquiry, interviews, surveys and data mapping
- created a new information architecture / user interface with input from the whole team - starting with sketching workshops and storyboards
- built up a library of accessible components using an Atomic Design approach
- coached the team on Agile methods: building user stories in two-week sprints and tracking work with a Kanban board
July - August 2018: Freelance Designer (Fintech)
I had a break from contract work over the summer and worked on freelance projects.
I used proto.io to develop a prototype for Lifeium, a Fintech start-up exploring online Will creation. I tested their proposition using one-to-one tests.
I designed an Invision prototype for MoneyMatiX, an account aggregation / money advice app which I continued developing into 2019:
- took over running of the Scottish Fintech meet-up with Sergei Pomphrey
- designed a Fintech UI and two icon sets for User Researchers
- developed my data visualisation skills using P5.js
March 2018 - June 2018: Content / CMS lead for ACCA
Content and design lead for ACCA's Digital Foundations project, working as part of a team of four Consultants from Quorum:
- planning a Discovery project - including research activities, a series of workshops and a set of deliverables
- creating customer journeys / sitemaps based on user needs and Google analytics
- using Google Analytics to evaluate current customer journeys
- working with designers, content strategists and developers to create a redesign strategy for ACCA's online service
April 2017 - February 2018: UX Analyst for Clydesdale Bank
As part of a large UX team I developed Clydesdale Bank's suite of apps using research and data:
- leading on improving the Bank’s analytics and data gathering by setting up a regular steering group
- using Adobe Analytics to provide actionable insights to Agile teams
- UX design – requirements gathering and prototyping new user journeys in Sketch for stakeholder reviews
- leading daily UX team stand-ups and reporting progress to management
January - March 2017: UX Designer for Scottish Enterprise
Supported the Digital First transformation programme at Scottish Enterprise by providing UX design for teams doing Agile discovery:
- starting an accessibility steering group and defining a team accessibility approach to ensure our new products can be used by all
- supporting 5 day sprints based on Google Ventures, with UX design and facilitating meetings
- sketching ideas then doing rapid prototyping in Axure and Bootstrap for lab-based testing
- running remote user testing with What Users Do
- building and maintaining a library of components for Scottish Enterprise’s new online service
May - December 2016: UX lead for digital transformation
UX lead for a major transformation programme at Royal London:
- rapid prototyping to explore ideas in the agile discovery phase, including mobile screen flows
- customer journey mapping and user research, including constructing personas
- coaching colleagues on Agile methods and UX/UI design
May 2015 - May 2016: Protection Extranet for Royal London
In 2015 I redesigned the Protection Online Service for Royal London, as part of an enthusiastic Agile team. Royal London increased their market share and picked up four awards in the 2016 FT Online Innovation and Service awards, including Best Company, and Best Innovation for the new service. The service takes in over £1 million of new business every week.
I began with sketches, working with Business Analysts and the Product Owner to refine the requirements. I then worked with a Digital Designer to refine the look and feel and applly the company brand.
I created wireframes and interactive prototypes in Axure and reviewed them with front end developers and testers. We used Bootstrap to create a dashboard, online form and log in process.
I ran user testing to validate my designs, and have led on the use of Google Analytics to test our designs after releases.
I worked with the test team to target a range of browsers and devices to ensure the new Extranet would be fully responsive.
2014 Online booking system
Worked with two other UX Designers to develop a new online service system for City Holdings, a Glasgow-based facilities management firm.
We started creating personas and user flows then produced wireframes for developers.
For my contribution, I:
- led user testing with City staff and delivered the results to business owners
- designed wireframes in Illustrator, building up a library of styles and components
- created functional specs for developers
- built interactive prototypes in Axure and html5
2010-2013 led the UX process for an online service
Worked with UI designers, business analysts and developers to continuously improve the customer experience for students and their families. We based our priorities on Customer Insight and analytics, including A/B testing.
I ran user testing with User Vision and collected insights using Google Analytics to continuously improve the customer experience.
In 2010 I ran user testing with the Government Digital Service and the results were presented to the SLC board. The result was a £90 million transformation project to launch a new online service, which ran until a successful launch in 2013.
2011 led project to rebuild Student Loans Company corporate sites
Worked with a UI designer, external developers, business analysts and administrators to completely rebuild the SLC corporate site and microsites, implementing a modern Umbraco platform. I began with analytics and sitemapping and delivered a successful launch at the end of 2011.
After the launch I wrote and maintained a style guide for the look and feel, and UI elements.
2011 designed new password reset process for the Student Loans Company
Worked with a UI designer and Customer Insight manager to produce new screen flow and content for the online password process. We tested a new design with live students. After the project, password reset calls to SLC dropped by 50%.
2010 built and managed Student Finance England site
Worked with a developer and a team of internal stakeholders to create a campaign site for English students, attracting over 200,000 visits in the summer of 2010. We used analytics, user testing and regular input from the Customer Insight team to optimise the site.
2007 - 2010: Content and UX for the Student Loans Company
The My Application and Offer project took over a year of planning and implementation. I managed lab-based usability testing with User Vision in Darlington for student volunteers. This was the first user testing of its kind in SLC's history. I used the findings to optimise online content and interactions.