As part of a Glasgow School of Art (GSA) student and new graduate team I worked in partnership with the new Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) design team based in Edinburgh from 2015-16. The objective was to develop the company’s emerging user-centred design process and integrate a future foresight methodology, as well as provide strategic design directions and service design proposals for RBS.

The success of the project resulted in a new industry-academic, collaborative educational model which GSA included as part of the syllabus for the university’s undergraduate Product Design courses.

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I conducted ethnographic research into the values of Generation Y, using a combination of desk research and 40 in-depth interviews to develop personas for future customers (image 2 overleaf). My team also analysed current trends and societal shifts in order to visualise future contexts, including a future world context for 2025.


Insights gained from design research into Gen Y values, insecure life situations and past banking experiences (images 2 and 3) revealed a spectrum of attitudes, ranging from highly sceptical and negative to indifferent or misinformed with reagards to banking infrastructure and processes. This led me to generate concepts for more ethical, transparent and community oriented RBS branches.


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My team undertook user-testing of future scenarios and services with 20 Gen Y users. I tested an app prototype entitled ‘Trace’ (image 2), which showed how much of customers’ spending was going into the local economy. In this way the bank could support ethical & informed purchases, reflecting the values of Millenials. Users were positively surprised by the concept and feedback showed they would be more likely to use a bank that offered services which encourage and enable transparency and social responsibility.

Intrusive artefacts and provotypes (provocative prototypes) were used to test the level of invasiveness customers were comfortable with regards to artificial intelligence and security of biophysical data. One example of this is ‘Biopay’ (image 4) which tested the idea of paying with a chip implant or a bioink tattoo.

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D&AD New Blood Graphite Pencil Winner 2017

D&AD released briefs submitted by global companies. The brief we chose was by Pearson, a recognised and value-led leader in education, to create a scalable design concept that responds to the growing global need for education in 2027.

To support the regular up-skilling required by the transitional 2027 workforce, my team developed 'Pearson Organic Learning', a digital platform which motivates learners using a personalised career goal and an agile, peer-to-peer learning experience.


We focused on millenial adult learners, conducting desk research into future trends and in-depth interviews with 20 adults aged 25-35.

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We developed and taught a learning program for a Master student based on our insights into the most effective approaches to learning. Our research indicated that in 2027 people will often change roles. They will need to adapt to work insecurity and evolving technology. To support the regular up-skilling this will require, ‘Pearson Organic Learning’ was conceptualised.

This digital platform is designed to motivate learners using a personalised career goal and peer-to-peer learning. Career paths are mapped out based on data about learners skills and aspirations. A digital ‘learning tree’ grows as the learner progresses.


My team was set a brief by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to improve regulatory services for farmers and reduce the burden of bureaucracy. After meeting farmers and conducting ethnographic research it became clear there was a disconnect between a farmer's lifestyle and government services. There was also a lack of agency to change the current system from the farmers' side and the civil servants.


One key issue is a farmers' year is seasonal and circular, not linear. How to bridge the gap between a farmers lifestyle and public services? How to create an accessible and supportive service for farmers, rather than a set of bureaucratic controls that weigh them down? After mapping the system to identify key stakeholders, the team gathered ideas collaboratively in a co-creation workshop with ministers, small businesses and farmers in Finland.


The final presentation aimed to inspire civil servants and tell the farmers’ side of the story, as well as communicate the concept. The final proposal included; a holistic online service where farmers’ data would be updated automatically, instead of through unnecessary forms. A long term map to change included a new ‘MyOfficer’ service. This involved retraining civil servants to help them offer personal guidance to struggling farmers both in person and online.


Project length: March - May 2015

Client: The Finnish Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture

My role: Project manager and empathic design lead

Collaborators:  Yuexin Du (visual design lead) Anni Leppänen (researcher and joint manager) Seungho Lee (Design for Government organiser) Iiro Emil Leino (Policy and systems research) Ekaterina Skvortsova (head of communications)


‘Our Land’ explores the role of design in empowering community landowners to sustainably govern land in rural Scotland. This involved an analysis of systemic or “dark matter” challenges that community landowners face, such as legislation change and bureaucracy.

I conducted research and design in partnership with community landowners across Scotland. The design outcomes that were developed responded to this understanding and the needs of the communities I worked with.

A design game was developed which supports community landowners with idea generation and strategic thinking. This game enhances community resilience and supports the perpetuation and sustainment of community land ownership.

 Design Game 'Analogue Dialogues'

Design Game 'Analogue Dialogues'

 Community group testing the game

Community group testing the game

I conducted ethnographic and empathic design research with community landowners across Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. I designed a series of engagement artefacts to explore the insights from my initial research. The first was a set of priority mapping cards (the yellow cards below) which I used with third sector organisations such as Community Land Scotland, the local council and community bodies.

Community bodies mapped 'values' as being important to share. The majority of users mapped 'network', 'advice', 'what they have learned' and 'how they overcame challenges' as the most valuable information to exchange.  When discussing the cards one trustee from the Point and Sandwich trust said that sharing knowledge about their support network was vital because all community bodies could benefit, he described other trusts as "colleagues not rivals."

 Priority mapping cards - used to understand what knowledge is most valuable for community groups to exchange

Priority mapping cards - used to understand what knowledge is most valuable for community groups to exchange

 I visited a number of urban and rural community owned land sites. This derelict land is now owned by Tayport Community Trust.

I visited a number of urban and rural community owned land sites. This derelict land is now owned by Tayport Community Trust.

 Design game prototype - helps community groups break down meetings into clear steps

Design game prototype - helps community groups break down meetings into clear steps

I included themed questions in the game covering challenges, values and dark matter issues I discovered in my field research. For instance the cards asked users to explore recent challenges they have faced such as internal group conflict. I also included case studies outlining challenges faced by community groups I had encountered as discussion prompts.

 Design game prototype 2 - exploring community values, aims and challenges with different landowning community groups

Design game prototype 2 - exploring community values, aims and challenges with different landowning community groups

 Stakeholder cards - helping community groups empathise and get into the shoes of other stakeholders

Stakeholder cards - helping community groups empathise and get into the shoes of other stakeholders

The game I designed would be played during a learning journey at the host community body office. The visiting community body would play with the another, host group. The aim of the game would be to atomise dark matter collaboratively between two community bodies, enhance their network and enrich lateral thinking.

If you want to know more about this project please get in touch, I'm working on it at the moment.


Infections in patients due to poor hospital hygiene standards is a huge problem for many countries, including the UK and Germany. Thousands of patients are infected every year whilst they are at their most vulnerable. Why does this happen? Shadowing hospital cleaning staff on the job in Germany, I discovered they were low paid, poorly trained and required to clean a large amount of square meters per hour. Staff I talked to were stressed, under pressure and often struggled to meet demands.


I collaboratively developed an innovation lab called 'Mediclean'  to become part of the hospital. This lab included educational, digital tools and training methods for cleaning staff. The lab would be a space for meetings with other hospital staff members to discuss issues, and an app that would allow cleaners to give feedback about their experience. The app offers support; cleaners can see a schedule, a cleaning checklist and receive updates about which rooms will suddenly be in use due to emergencies.


It was clear from research that the stressful experience of cleaning staff was not being considered. They were given a cramped staff room and trained in poorly lit corridors. Staff were often immigrants who could not always understand German well enough to complete the training. Therefore a feedback system embedded in the app to keep track of issues and find new solutions was very important.


Project dates: May - June 2014

Location: Cologne and Frankfurt, Germany

My role: Service designer, research and concept development

Collaborators: Natalia Carreño (service design) Julia Kattelmann (concept development) Adrian Ki (digital concept development) Birgit Mager (SDN) Lorenzo Piazzoli (visual lead) Anna Sandor (UX research)


'Pepper' is a story focused PC game concept I developed collaboratively for the European Games for social change competition G4C. The game is aimed at 8-12 year olds and uses the main character ‘Pepper’ as a channel for issues of gender inequality. The aim is to encourage children to question their perception of gender through gamification, meaningful gameplay, decision making and narrative.


This is the story of eight year old Pepper, who wants to play the male lead role of Papageno in the school theatre adaptation of Mozart's Magic Flute. Sadly, the teacher doesn't think a gender reversal would be a good idea. Will she get the part in the end?


To ensure the user experience is constantly kept in mind during development I generated personas at the start of the project to help the whole group narrow their focus and target the game's style and linguistics appropriately. I gained inspiration for the later stages of interface implementation from the wide range of game developers I was able to collaborate with during the Global Game Jam 2014. Throughout game development I have been utilising testable prototypes and mock ups which target users can try out and give feedback on.


Project Overview: "Pepper" Game competition entry for G4C Europe

Awards: Gained an honourable mention at G4C 2013

Project Dates: October 2013 - January 2014

My role: Interface design, illustration, copy writer

Collaborators: Agustina Andrioletti (HUI & programmer), Milan Pilangel (story writer), Santiago Taberna (graphic assets), Casilida de Zulueta (art direction)

MEDes (Master of European Design)

The MEDes is a five year, trans-European course involving seven universities from seven countries in Europe. The MEDes is a fluid structure run by a board of tutors from all schools. The programme therefore has no physical centre where its identity and memories can be both collected and shared.

User-centered Workshop

Students realised this lack of recorded history led to a collective lack of identity for MEDes members. This feeling led to myself and five other MEDes students initiating a service design project. The aim was to determine what the MEDes experience means to different members and develop service concepts around how the programme could be changed to reflect its members needs.


A really important insight from the research was how integral the sense of community had been to the personal growth and career prospects of MEDes students and alumni. Current MEDes students and staff visualised their connections to every person they knew. This helped users reflect on how big and valuable a resource these connections could be. A co-creation workshop helped the students to think about how the network could be useful to everyone in future and how it could be expressed in a digital service.


Findings were expressed through a collection of personal stories. Research also led to a set of brand values being formed using co-creation and meta-design techniques.

USER TESTING digital service

Research outcomes led to a new, interactive online service where members of the programme could connect to the network, learn and collaborate.

Presenting Research

Project Dates: April 2014 - present

Client: MEDes programme members

My role: user research, service design, concept development

Collaborators: Santiago Taberna (user experience and research) Martina Dellepiane (visual lead and concept development) Lucia Cosma (team management and visual lead) Ole Thomas Tørresen (concept development & copywriter) Lorenzo Piazzoli (user experience and graphic design)


I collaboratively organised a weekend long conference on the topic of open source. It sought to explore open design, open hardware and innovative communities such as the Makers Movement.


Filming interviews with expert speakers was part of the event publicity. Organisation involved booking expert speakers, arranging themed workshops and generating a public relations and fundraising strategy.


The conference allowed academics, artists, designers and citizens to come together and discuss the proliferation and uses of open source. A key issue raised repeatedly in group discussions was how artists and open designers can make money if they are working for free. This question moved the conversation towards analysing alternatives to the current neoliberal economic model. Are alternative economies based on time banking, donations, skill sharing and meaningful work the future?


Project Dates: September - November 2013

My role: Event organisation, internal communication and public relations

Collaborators: Aleks Marjanovic (Event manager) Joanna Francener Porto (Workshop manager) Santiago Taberna (Fundraising and brand development) Kkaew Wong (Fundraising and administration) Martin Schumacher (External communications)


The company Alko has a monopoly over selling alcohol Alcohol in Finland. This company has stores all over Finland and is partially owned and controlled by the government. Policy, such as closing stores at 8pm and high pricing aim to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in Finland. Strict laws limit the Alko's options for developing customer experience.


Ethnographic research in store revealed the customers’ need for more information. People viewed alcohol consumption as a social activity, they were often curious about their friends' drinking rituals. Some interviewees felt limited and even patronized by government controls. This undermined their experience of the services in the Alko store.


I collaboratively developed an app which would change the user experience for Alko customers whilst remain in line which government policy. To answer both legal limitations and experiential insights the app ‘Pivot’ was developed upon a social and educational ethos. I aimed to give customers the information and social experience that was missing whilst helping them learn how to consume safely and enrich their dining experience - especially young, new drinkers.


The final proposal for the Alko company included an app which aimed to change the narratives around drinking in Finland. The app encourages users to see what foods go with the drinks they are buying, review their favourites and check out what their friends are buying. This supports an alternative narrative of informed, social drinking rather than uninformed drinking alone, which is currently a big issue.


Project dates: September-October 2014

Location: Helsinki, Finland

My Role: User experience designer

Collaborators: Alko (client), Luca Acito (concept development), Chien-Ting Jessie Hsu (UX lead), Mikko Latomäki (Visual design lead)


I collaboratively developed a concept for the ‘Can’t Touch This’ themed exhibit held during the Expocase 2013 in Cologne.


What do we want to touch and why? How are digital interfaces of the 21st century defining our haptic experiences?

interaction design

The 'Cabinet of Curiosities' pictured above is a comment about the lacklustre interaction between humans and the interfaces of digital devices.

Cabinet of Curiosities Overview

Project Dates: October 2013

Exhibition: Expocase Cologne 2013

My Role: Concept development, exhibition design, prototyping

Collaborators: Simple, Prof. Andreas Muxel, Amelie Neumann, Andreas Mass, Aleksandra Marjanovik, Guan-Ying Chen, Jacob Samuel Kilian, Kai Berthold, Kalle Hübinger, Kathrin Polo, Lia Schnor, Lilian Flor Rogge, Michael Lieth, Miriam Exner, Ole Torresen, Simone Fahrenhorst, Trine Brink Frederiksen