I am

 

 

A UX Designer with more than 15 years experience designing user-centered, interactive digital interfaces for web & mobile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About me.

I am an innovative UX/UI Designer with a background in web development and years of experience working on digital products.

With a blend of skills that include analytical problem-solving, creative finesse and technical knowledge, I bring a unique perspective to the projects I work on.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

- Steve Jobs

UX / UI What now?

UX stands for 'User Experience'. In short, it's the feelgood factor you get when browsing a website or working on a well thought-out software product. It's the design behind the design. A UX specialist will focus on solving problems for the user.

UI stands for 'User Interaction' also known as Interaction Design. It is - as it says on the tin - the application of the interations and the design. The polishing, fine-tuning and the bringing to life. Think of it as the icing on the cake, and more. It's the icing, decoration and presentation as well. And because of the clever and thoughtful (UX) baking process, it feels free to stand out front and represent the entire cake because it knows it can rely on the total eating experience to do it proud.

The Internet is full of bad user experiences and this is not because of neglect or malice on the part of website owners, it's more to do the the nature of the medium, as constantly advancing technology can leave older websites behind, often way behind.

Enter the UX / UI ninja ...

A well conducted UX / UI process can help improve the performance of your website or app, new or existing. It is not set in stone and most phases overlap somewhat, but this is generally how it goes:

Research & Discovery

The process starts with a client workshop to discuss goals, establish 'must have' functionality and get an idea of your vision for the product. This is an important step and should include the whole team - designers, developers, project managers - and anyone else that will work on the project.

Research the end user group. I start by finding out what you already know about your customers' problems and goals so that I know what I need to validate through customer interviews. Also important is to check out the competition to find common patterns and best practices across your industry.

Information Architecture (IA)

Also known as Site Planning, this is drawing up the overall layout of the site to establish navigational strategies & menu structure. For a particularly complicated IA I would enlist the help of users to find out what makes the most sense to them through card sorting.

The techy part is deciding on data relationships and how the content will be set up in the database so that it can be displayed to the user in clear and clever ways, making it appear simple to them.

Persona & Scenario Creation

Armed with my research, I should be able to establish who will use the product, where, when and how they will use it. I then create a personification of the user, complete with name, photo, likes and dislikes. Keep this person (or people - there may be more than one) up-front and centre throughout the design and development prcoess to keep the whole team (client included) grounded and reminded that this product will be used by an actual human being.

Sketching & Wire-framing

Where the fun begins. Drawing user flows and basic layouts to get a feel for how the site will look. Initially on paper or white board. I like to hash out my ideas on paper and get casual feedback from people. In the business, this is know as guerilla testing, but it's plain old 'what do you think of my drawings?' over a cup of tea, to you and me. I move on to digital by using fast wireframing software tools like Balsamiq or Mockflow to mock up initial designs.

Proto-typing & User-testing

Now for the excitement of bringing the wireframes to life. Usually by this stage the 'wire-frames' are more 'mock-ups' and close to being the finished design. I prefer to user-test something as close to the end product as possible. This doesn't mean jumping into coding just yet, there are lots of helpful resources out there for quick proto-typing, my favourite is Invision, which means we that we can test the product out with users before spending one iota of time on coding so that we can quickly iterate and re-test until we're happy to move onto the next stage.

Designing, Coding & Deployment

With wireframes as a base, we can fine-tune the design. As I mentioned above, the finished design is almost there by the prototyping stage, so the final design stage is mostly polishing and fine-tuning - working out transitions and micro-interactions. My favourite design tool is Sketch, but I'm also loving working with Adobe's latest creation which has - at last - been built for purpose; Adobe XD (Experience Design).

I work closely with the front-end developers on the team who will use my Invision protoypes to direct their work. To maintain a visual identity and consistency across designs, I develop a UX style guide with HTML / CSS examples that becomes the go-to place for front-end development resources so nothing gets lost in translation.

I always make sure to add some in-app feedback, such as Usabilla or Intercom, and analytics tracking, such as Google Analytics, code so that when the product has been released into the wild, it will be a lot easier to manage continual improvements with visibility into how users are getting on with your product.

Rinse and repeat.

If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.

- Alan Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 - Present

Senior UX Designer at Asavie

User experience designer for IoT CONNECT - Asavie's mobile product for securely connecting and managing remote connectivity for IoT / M2M (Internet of Things / machine-to-machine) projects.

IoT CONNECT can be purchased via Asavie partners: business.eir.ie and isimplyconnect.com



2014 - 2015

UX Specialist at Sage CRM

2014

Lead UX Designer at CR2 (Contract)

 



2014

MY TIME :) Fitness app (Independent Project)

2015

Medical app for hospital consultants (Independent Project).

2013

UX Designer at Ancestry.com (Contract)


Darwin project.

Darwin was an experimental Single Page Application which aimed to innovate and simplify the process of family history research by providing easy-to-use interfaces for performing complex functions using the latest web technologies. I also designed and implemented a UX Style Guide for the new project to help retain consistency in new designs.

2012

Consultant Design & Development
The Minority Map and Timeline of Europe (MMTE)

The MMTE is an online interactive research tool that provides an objective perspective and evaluation of minorities, minority issues, and minority–majority relations within all states and regions of Europe. See MMTE.eu

2001 - 2013

Independent Website Designer - Dotwebs


Selection of Websites

Other Notable Projects