Research into the ubiquitous coloured screen filter for dyslexic children brought me back to the obvious conclusion — good design is good for all.

Physical coloured filters were popularised due to their cheapness and easy usage. But do they work?

I’ve recently been working on a new interactive maths classroom for 1:1 remote tutoring. One of the early product requirements given, echoed by our academic staff was to ‘have coloured filters for dyslexic pupils’. This was a feature our old classroom had, and one often requested by teachers. As a dyslexic myself I well remember the day both when I got to choose a colour film to use in class, later when I got my first…

Too often maligned to the pile of “Nice to Have”, here I present the fourfold argument for introducing empty states; acquisition, education, retention and reactivation.

1. To allow us to acquire new users from the app store listings.

2. To educate users about what the post match value proposition is.

3. To let users invest in their profiles, giving nannies better information to match on and providing “stickiness” to buffer browsing churn.

4. To smooth the journey back into matching on reactivation.

1. Acquiring new users

In my research I found that a substantial number of both nannies and families found Koru Kids in the app store but as they can’t log in until they sign a contract they think “what’s the point in this app if all it…

At the beginning of lockdown one 2020, Koru Kids spent time researching how to virtually care for, entertain and educate kids. If you’re stuck at home trying to work and occupy your children I hope my learnings are some help to you.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Choose a regular 1–2hr time slot, ideally after meals and exercise
  2. Have a professional or trusted adult plan and run the sessions
  3. Make sure the kids have the materials they need or can access them (e.g. art supplies, devices & chargers!)
  4. Clearly give control over to the virtual carer/educator and leave the room
  5. When time’s up come and admire what the kids have been up to — give them a chance to show off!

It’s a no brainer but the quality of the session itself is hugely dependant on the nanny, entertainer or educator. …

Two years on from a cripplingly awful design sprint I regularly use sprint methodologies to get teams involved early and de-risk high risk uncertainties. What changed?

Sprints are powerful, but they’re not for everything.

TIP 1: Hold yourself accountable by committing to put your work up on the worldwide web.

This article is one of the things I knew I had to do to hold myself accountable. I should have written one called “Well that was a shitshow”, two years ago but in it’s absence I’ve written this one instead. Knowing I’d be putting up my experiences in public forced me to a) consider carefully how my future sprints was going to run b) make better observations on what wasn’t working and c) fix them.


More often than not a top of funnel project is going to be a priority for your business. How you work with Marketing to elevate the brand through storytelling, strong visual identity and UX design are absolutely critical to success.

Know your users, know the company goals but most of all, know your stakeholders when you undertake a brand project.

Ramping up the fidelity of the proposed visual identity of our brand

In a VC backed marketplace like Koru Kids, rarely is growth not going to be a priority. With high CAC (cost of customer acquisition) due to childcare being a high value purchase makes eyes on the landing page even more precious. In the pursuit of agility, growth and scaling up (largely in productising a hitherto ops heavy business) our marketing pages had suffered and our business in turn was starting to suffer.

It’s no secret childcare is broken. Families struggle…

When designing navigation itself it can be hard to get a grasp of what tangibles you’re hoping to improve. Identifying existing navigation issues and metrics to track their improvement are crucial to any navigational design project.

What can you expect to deliver with a navigation project

The Problem

The navigation of a Recon’s website (which their app copied) offered no information hierarchy, duplicated functionality and contradicted common UI patterns confusing users. This was leading to users failing to find areas of the site they are looking for or under utilising areas of the site or functionality they expected to be valuable to them.

We completed testing (card sorting both open nd then hybrid, tree testing and lostness testing) before going through three design rounds (one from a previous project focussing more of the visual layout, through our first UI proposal after testing, to to propose a new structural…

Website redesign for the amazing charity empowering women and girls in refugee camps: The Lotus Flower. Article covers: teasing out their core identity and communicating it effectively; testing niche concepts with limited resources; non-linear customer journeys.

From original site to our proposal

Project 3 General Assembly (Client Website Redesign)
Team: Joyce Lao (Project Management), Katerina Samoilis (Research Lead)
Client: The Lotus Flower Charity
My role: Design Lead
Duration: 2.5 weeks
Methods: Competitive analysis, surveying, design workshop, client consultation, 1–2–1 Interviews, focus group research/testing, Sketch App prototyping, user testing with clickable prototype using Invision app.

The Brief

For this two and a half week sprint, the brief was to…

Designing a concept microsite to enhance the inflight experience for British Airways passengers.

Project 3 General Assembly (concept app)
Team: J Mawhinney, Yulka, Myself
Client: British Airways
My role: UX Researcher / UX Designer
Duration: 1 week
Methods: 1–2–1 Interviews, focus group research/testing, Sketch App prototyping, user testing with clickable prototype using Invision app, contextual testing.

The Brief

To recap on my previous article, the brief was to make in-flight services available to passengers on their personal electronic devices.

Currently in-flight services are:

  • Manual
  • Depend on built-in technology
  • Abstract

Design Deliverable

A web-hosted application that adheres to the British Airways visual style guide, we therefore designed a high-fidelity prototype that demonstrates the key functionality of the posited…

Researching how to enhance the inflight experience for British Airways passengers.

Project 3 General Assembly (concept app)
Team: J Mawhinney, Yulka, Myself
Client: British Airways
My role: UX Researcher / UX Designer
Duration: 1 week
Methods: Competitive Analysis, Market Research, 1–2–1 Interviews, Concept Mapping, Storyboarding, User Flows, Experience Mapping, Card Sorting

All good UX projects start with good research. UX is in the business of balancing user and business goals and in this case neither were apparent at the start of the project.

This article focusses on the process of divining what business goals we might address and which would align our users’ goals. …

One week design sprint to create the branding, visual design and enhanced UX for Stick it: the app that brings the carrot and the stick to life.

Project 4 General Assembly (concept app)
Team: individual project
Client: Maria / Global
My role: UX Researcher / UX Designer
Duration: 1 week
Methods: 1–2–1 Interviews, user flows, sketching, focus group research/testing, class crawls, design studio, prototyping in Sketch, user testing with clickable prototype using InVision.

A *final mock-up for the Stick it Sign In screen

Sticking it to you

In my last post I introduced Stick it, an app to motivate you when the consequences of your actions just aren’t consequential enough for you and a little skin in the game might just encourage some better behaviour.

It’s perhaps not the easiest brand to create given that the app is intended to be…


Senior Product Designer at Third Space Learning. Inveterate Nomad, Culture Vulture and Cook.

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