A few years ago I heard one piece of advice that really stuck with me, ‘Never design for yourself’. At the time of being told this up until embarrassingly recently, I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this; I always wondered why if I had experienced a problem whilst partaking in an interest or throughout day-to-day life, I shouldn’t take that forward as a project. Ultimately, there is nothing stopping you, however, you are more likely to miss the bigger picture. This is where understanding the primary user leads to the creation of a far more valuable solution. …


Identifying where Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) fall down and how an holistic solution with Smart-Tech integration could pick them back up.

Second only to pills, inhalers are the most commonly prescribed medication form in the world¹, with MDIs having the largest presence on the inhaler marketplace. However, they are far from being faultless. Is this a consequence of its simplistic, cost-efficient design, or because of a deeper routed issue that lies with lack of user-centred consideration right at the start of the design phase, 40 years ago? With devices rapidly adopting smart technology, how could this advancement aid the user’s experience of MDIs?

Just how (un)Intuitive are they?

To begin with, we must first establish where their downfalls lie when it comes to usability. First impressions…


UX Design is not the same as UI Design… and it certainly isn’t app design.

UX and UI? The difference is a lot more than 1 letter.

Much like how the term ‘Product Designer’ is weaving its way into the digital design industry, to the disapproval of most (Physical) Product and Industrial Designers… UI is more readily being labeled as ‘UX’ Design… and that’s the one that really grates on me.

UI is not the same as UX. UI is commonly, but importantly not exclusively, part of the result of the UX Process, as UI refers to the aesthetic appeal of a digital touchpoint, that has been ideally formed off the foundations and evidence that the UX process has ensured for. Whilst they may complement each other…


Instead of dwelling on it, embrace it.

So, I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps my transition to remote usability testing was somewhat smoother than most, solely due to my limited experience of in-person usability testing beforehand. However, I can empathise with both the unfamiliarity that it brings and initial feelings of uncertainty that comes with it, which were present during my most recent project. However, there are undeniable benefits to remote usability testing, and just because it might throw up some challenges at first, doesn’t mean its capabilities and potential should be underestimated. …


A recent round of user research got me thinking about the advantages of interviews and prompted reflection being conducted remotely… but my latest remote sessions weren’t all plain sailing.

I’m still fresh to the world of user research and UX design, however, this hasn’t stopped me from needing to adjust to the wild, Covid-19 driven ways of 2020. Especially since beginning my MA in User Experience Design. Something that isn’t new to me is conducting user research. And thankfully, remotely conducted user-research and user-testing have been successfully conducted for decades. So, what I imagine to be all of the painfully tedious and repetitive years of trial and error to develop and refine new tools and methods have been tackled already! And then it hit me… remote user research already…


A few years ago I heard one piece of the device that really stuck with me, ‘Never design for yourself’. At the time of being told this up until embarrassingly recently, I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this; I always wondered why if I had experienced a problem whilst partaking in an interest or throughout day-to-day life, I shouldn’t take that forward as a project. Ultimately, there is nothing stopping you, however, you are more likely to miss the bigger picture. This is where understanding the primary user leads to the creation of a far more valuable product.

Understand The…


Identifying where Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) fall down and how an holistic solution with Smart-Tech integration could pick them back up.

Second only to pills, inhalers are the most commonly prescribed medication form in the world¹, with MDIs having the largest presence on the inhaler marketplace. However, they are far from being faultless. Is this a consequence of its simplistic, cost-efficient design, or because of a deeper routed issue that lies with lack of user-centred consideration right at the start of the design phase, 40 years ago? …


Ofo bicycles (pronounced oh-foh) have been popping up in cities all over the world and if you live or work in an area where the scheme is running, you will have undoubtedly become aware of the influx of offensively yellow bicycles scattered throughout the city. These have recently been introduced into Sheffield, so I have become very, very aware of them. With the quantity of automobiles in cities increasing and the quality of the air decreasing, ofo’s aims are obvious, to encourage the residents to step away from the car and onto a classically designed bicycle. …


Get out of your comfort zone.

When I first started my undergraduate degree in Product Design just over three years ago, I was given a piece of advice that stuck with me, ‘Never design for yourself’. At the time of being told this up until embarrassingly recently, I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this; I always wondered why, if I had experienced a problem whilst partaking in a hobby or throughout day-to-day life, I shouldn’t take that forward as a project. Ultimately, there is nothing stopping you, however, you are more likely to miss the bigger picture. …


Inspiration has a fundamental place within the design process, but how do we know when to stop?

As designers and creatives, it’s almost a given that we will regularly be faced with the formidable and daunting creative block; while it’s at this point we are advised to ‘take a break’ or ‘focus on something else for a bit’, our persistent nature, looming deadlines and fear of failure stops us from listening to these valuable pieces of perfectly reasonable wisdom. Instead, we turn to the abundance of websites and applications that are available right at our fingertips. This can be a huge mistake.

Inspiration is undoubtedly more accessible than ever before, and for good reason; inspiration holds the…

James Hoare

Product Designer with a Passion for User Experience

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