Starting at StarLeaf

I’m thrilled to be starting work as a UX Designer at StarLeaf next month. StarLeaf brings people together through the power of messaging, meetings and calling; and I can’t wait to be a part of the team to help create industry leading communication products and experiences.

Designing Friction For A Better User Experience

Allegedly, Facebook did some experimenting on a security checkup process, in which examining the privacy and security settings took only a few milliseconds for the user and wasn’t considered thorough enough. To improve the perception, Facebook added some delay, along with a fake progress bar, so that users could get a better understanding about the thoroughness of this process.

We naturally design to try and reduce friction, yet sometimes friction is needed to actually enhance the user experience. This article by Zoltan Kollin provides a wonderfully comprehensive overview and examples of where adding delays and additional steps is a desirable quality within a product.

Halide: How to Design for iPhone X (without an iPhone X)

Fascinating article from the developers of the highly acclaimed Halide camera app for iOS on how they redesigned the app for the iPhone X before it was even announced.

When it comes to reading, most of us read from left to right, but as humans we reach things from the bottom up.

If you design with this in mind, it’s called ‘Reachable UI’.

This is a way of thinking that more designers need to seriously consider; as devices get taller, interactions need to be increasingly accessible from the bottom of the screen.

I found it was quite difficult to figure out what was ergonomically sound without an actual device to test on.

Then, Ben built an iPhone X.

I love this. Since the app was being designed before the iPhone X had been revealed, let alone shipped, it was absolutely necessary to get a feel for its proportions.

Buttons that require a tap were put in the area that was best for interacting

The bottom quarter of the screen. Makes sense.

We adjusted these to fit the ergonomics of the new device; for exposure adjustment, we ensured you could compensate for at least 5 EV (exposure values) with your thumb, giving you great exposure adjustment without requiring serious finger gymnastics.

The importance of ergonomics within an app’s design cannot be understated. Not only does this make the UI more functional, but to the user the entire app feels like a better thought out and more cohesive experience – not a battle against the screen to access functions.

In the case of Halide, buttons that require taps are in the bottom quarter of the screen, and functions that can be controlled with less accuracy such as a swipe, in the prime space where thumbs can pivot yet don’t need to reach the opposite side of the device.

Testing on a physical mockup proves valuable; speeding up the learning process in-house rather than when the app ships, leading to a better first experience for users.

Comfort | The Next Generation Heating Control

Comfort is a simple, yet powerful control to managing home heating, delivering state of the art features, without requiring a smartphone. Comfort appeals to a wide audience by delivering modern conveniences in a familiar and simple to use package.

The idea for Comfort came after a year of working for domestic heating market leaders; Worcester Bosch as a Product Management Intern with constant exposure to a spectrum of end users and installers from which key insights could be drawn.

Continue reading Comfort | The Next Generation Heating Control

Aston Design Show and New Designers Branding

I led the brand team to define the branding aesthetic for Aston University’s exhibitions both at New Designers in London, and the Aston Inspired Design show; held on the university campus in Birmingham.

Each event was a chance for final year product design students to show the general public and potential employers their work, as well as represent the university.

Continue reading Aston Design Show and New Designers Branding

myTrainer

myTrainer guides users through completing exercises, in the correct positions, enabling successful, productive workouts through utilising camera technology in body tracking and depth mapping.

The industry for exercising at home using DVDs or YouTube videos continues to grow, and yet there is no way to tell if you’re working out in the right way. Exercising incorrectly could cause injury through bad posture, or just be ineffective at achieving what the workout was supposed to. This is where myTrainer comes in. Continue reading myTrainer

Connected app concept project: Listener

Not everything can be connected into the Internet of Things, or turned into a smart appliance. Listener is the conversion from analogue into digital. It hears and understands the real world so that you can be even more connected to it.

Listener bridges this gap by combining listening hardware with a concept app for the connected world, with the goal of bringing notifications to the things in life that aren’t digital. Continue reading Connected app concept project: Listener