Final year project
Communication in Dinghy Racing [Read more]
Gybe Sailing Techologies _ Racer Communication Device CAD Model and Adobe XD App Prototype Used in High-Fidelity Testing
Sailors must make split-second decisions and technologies which aid rapid, safe and performance-enhancing decision-making are attractive to the sailing community. Dinghy sailing and racing is a thriving club sport which has received less attention from product developers than that directed at high-end yacht racing. Club dinghy racing provides a challenging opportunity to integrate technology and user-centred design to improve sailors’ performance and engagement.
Innovation in dinghy racing has been particularly lacking in respect of in-race communication and race organisation. On-the-water communication methods currently used by sailors, adjudicators and organisers are outdated and sub-optimal. Flags, horns and shouting are the mainstays of communication during racing events and word-of-mouth and emails are used to advertise events. This project aims to improve the quality of communication before, during and after dinghy races and training through the use of technology.
The app will act as a set-up for both devices; it provides a platform to organise events and training, allowing the user to get involved with their community and easily stay up to date. The devices themselves allow direct lines of communication between the Racers and their Race Committee, without impairing race performance or allowing for misinterpretation. This system will make racing safer, more accessible and more streamlined.
Angel Eyes NI
I started working with Angel Eyes over lockdown in 2020. Angel Eyes is a charity that works to empower visually impaired children. They are currently working to bridge gaps in understanding between visually impaired children and their parents and teachers. One of the ways they are doing this is by developing a VR visual impairment simulator. I work on the advisory panel for the VR device and I also provide UX/UI expertise to the charity in their other ventures (websites, workshops, changing perceptions). This involves user testing, giving advice and feedback on physical devices and digital interfaces, a deep understanding of the users and the ability to work well with other professionals from different fields.
During the first lockdown in 2020, I worked with Crossbows Optical to further develop their miMeasure app so it could operate effectively across different countries and in the hands of optical professionals and non-professionals. I conducted user testing of the app and followed up with feedback on its issues and how they could overcome them in the redesign. I laid out all of the observed UI and structural issues in a report, along with multiple potential solutions for each. The solutions varied in simplicity so the company could choose how much time they wanted to spend on the changes. Crossbows Optical were incredibly happy with my contribution to the redevelopment of the app and it was great to get more client experience.
I am a confident presenter and enjoy working collaboratively in a team. Through my professional and academic careers I have learned to use user research, user testing and iterative low-fidelity prototyping to take a concept from the initial brief to the making of high-fidelity prototypes; considering user needs in addition to branding aesthetics and feasibility. I am comfortable with rapidly adapting to new software and have experience prototyping using a variety of tools, including the Adobe Creative Suite (especially Adobe XD, Illustrator and Photoshop), Axure RP, Miro and Figma. I am proficient in physical model making, having created everything from cardboard vacuums and sewn gloves to high fidelity aesthetic models and functional prototypes in my time in education and industry.
For more information and a look at my projects please contact me by email for my portfolio.
Final year project
Communication in Dinghy Racing
Adobe Creative Jam - Honorable Mention Award - 2020
During my placement in the industry, I worked for Hubaco Ltd as a Product Designer and developer. Hubaco is the parent company of multiple brands in the outdoor industry, such as Terra Nova, Wild Country, Extremities and FieldCandy. As part of a smaller design team, I took part in a wide range of design tasks and was personally responsible for entire product lines over multiple brands. One of my main responsibilities was re-branding FieldCandy and developing its new product lines; this was a great opportunity to show my skills and I received great feedback. My work involved researching current trends and emerging technologies to inform initial ideation. I would discuss materials and pricing with factories to make sure the products were within the budget and in line with Hubaco’s standards. This required a strong understanding of each brands identity and staying true to it while also expanding its user base and creating new intrigue. I would then develop the prototypes with the factories and assess them. This involved communicating complicated designs with factories in other countries and negotiation skills to achieve the best overall pricing, as well as critical analysis of the use and quality of the prototypes. Strong interpersonal and presentation skills were also needed to gain feedback and approval from the sales and marketing teams on potential products. Unfortunately, my time with the company was cut short in April 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic, but I was quick to contact local businesses to offer UX/UI expertise.