I specialise in designing user interfaces for the web and mobile devices that:
1. Feel simple to use
All web pages and interfaces must work for the real people who are going to use them – the ‘users’. The better you can make their experience while they are reading, searching or doing stuff on your site, the more successful the site will be, and ultimately the more your business will benefit and thrive. I use user research, prototyping and user testing techniques to ensure that your site really does work for the people who are going to use it.
2. Work with your existing branding and identity
Design can work on a more emotional level too. Does your website or application need to feel serious and reliable or light-hearted and playful? The visual design needs to match the content and function of the site. I can run small branding workshops to get to the heart of what is required. Perhaps you have existing branding and identity guidelines that need to be sympathetically developed and extended for a new project.
3. Are scalable and adaptable
Websites and applications change and grow over time. New devices and technologies might require the UI to work in new ways. New features are added and old ones removed. To help deal with this, I design interfaces to work as modular systems instead of particular fixed layouts. For web pages, this modular approach can carry over directly into the CSS. Responsive web design (RWD) makes use of this modular approach to give maximum layout flexibility, allowing the same content to be displayed comfortably full-sized desktop screens, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
How does this all actually happen?
A project typically begins with user research and/or stakeholder meetings. From this we end up with an idea of the business goals, as well as the average user needs and goals (which could be encapsulated into a persona). From this knowledge of user behaviours and business goals, we would produce a clickable prototype of the interface, which can be used for user testing. Around this time we will also need to consider branding, so that both the branding work and the prototype can go on to form the basis of a proper visual design.
The prototype, together with the modular visual design system, then form a primary input for the technical developers. I can also help specify an initial CSS framework and HTML markup, if required. By tying the interface design closely into the front-end code, and keeping the modular system approach, we can ensure that high quality visual design values do not get watered down or degraded during the back-end development phase.
I have been working as a web designer since early 2004. During this time I have run my own freelance consultancy, as well as working as a contractor for a number of digital agencies in London, working on projects for clients such as HSBC, the UK Office of Fair Trading and Sony Playstation. I have worked part-time as a web designer at the University of Bristol and completed a course in User Experience Design for the Web at the UCLA Extension in California. I also have an MSc (Distinction) in Computing from Oxford Brookes University and MPhil in Computer Speech and Language Processing from the University of Cambridge.