I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals in life and I feel well placed to do this as they engage with technology.
I am a User Experience designer (and love to do graphic design too) and I would love the opportunity to assist you and your organisation.
Thinking outside of the box comes naturally to me, my attention to detail, problem solving skills and thinking strategically have been of great benefit in producing preferable outcomes.
On a personal level, I enjoy a good cold brew coffee, playing futsal and dancing with my two year old daughter.
This is a small sample of my work
For 30 years Cashflow Manager has created financial products to assist small and medium businesses. For the majority of this time their main product has included a bookkeeping solution, an invoicing product and a payroll system. Most of my time as a designer at Cashflow Manager involved updating/improving usability within existing parts of their products, adding new features, and transitioning/refining functionality as they built an online offering.
After eighteen months working in technical support, it was helpful to build user personas in order to better understand the needs of the user base on the whole.
This section presents some general observations, followed by three user personas.
After working in technical support for eighteen months, I became very familiar with the user base, and gained a deeper understanding of who the typical customer is. Whilst there are individuals outside of the normal user case, they can be summarised in the following ways:
They are small to medium business owners who tend to be middle to retirement aged. They often do their own bookkeeping, invoicing and process their employees wages, but would much rather be working on their business than doing their books. Many users are not comfortable nor confident in their ability to use computers, but while they struggle with the transition from paper to digital, they understand how important and useful it is to move to a software solution.
Many users are advised to employ the software by their accountant and frequently, once they move to Cashflow Manager they continue to use the product for many years.
"As a budget conscious and computer illiterate tradesman, I need accountancy software which is both easy to use and affordable."
Chris is a 40 year old male, married to Sarah, a stay at home mum, with two young children. He worked in sales for ten years before he decided to retrain in something with a more stable income and hours. He has a Certificate 3 in bricklaying. Chris is a sole trader and takes home $60,000 per annum.
Chris has been a building contractor since he finished his apprenticeship in 2011.
While he personally does most of the brick laying, he often sub-contracts when needed.
As a contractor he needs to organise the business - working with the site manager, managing sub-contractors, and doing the books.
Chris would call himself ‘a typical Aussie Bloke’, and enjoys having friends over for a BBQ and a few beers while watching sport on TV. He values family and enjoys time with them, but would like to be able to provide more for them.
As a contractor, Chris enjoys the flexibility that comes with running his own business; including being able to manage his time to the benefit of his personal life. This may mean working over weekends or finishing early when the business allows to spend time with his family.
Chris takes guidance for his business primarily from his accountant.
Chris would like to grow his business and employ people to work for him. He would like to transition from manual labour to a more managerial focus as he gets older.
Chris and his wife, Sarah try to live within their means, but would appreciate extra income as their children grow up.
Chris is primarily a tradesman, having a limited ability to work his finances. He is not an overly tech savvy person, therefore computers are a bit of a challenge for him.
Chris needs to learn how to do his books and thinks that using a simple product on his computer is the best solution.
Chris is a budget conscious person, and always tries to shop for good value.
"I'm always looking for better ways to make the business work for me. A simple yet thorough bookkeeping solution makes it easier for me and saves me time."
Karen is a 50 year old female, married to John, a train driver. They have three adult children who all live locally.
Karen began working in furnishings after she finished high school, and has not completed further education.
Karen takes home a salary of $110,000.
Karen worked in the furnishing manufacturing industry for ten years before having children. When her children started school some former clients asked her to work for them independently.
Her business grew quickly and now she employs ten others.
Karen mostly runs the business rather than making the products herself, which includes liaising with clients, managing staff, quality control, and organising the finances.
When Karen gets time outside of her business, she loves to spend it with her children and grand children. She enjoys family gatherings, and looks forward to special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays.
Karen has a number of people in her professional circles. She takes advice from her accountant and other small business owners in her local network.
Karen would like to streamline her business and make tasks such as doing her books more efficient in order to spend more time with her family.
She is thinking about retirement in the future and how she can make the business easier to sell by putting systems in place that will prepare it for the next owner.
Karen started doing her books with a spreadsheet, but soon realised she needed something more advanced due to her business’ needs.
Her accountant suggested she use some accounting software, but the one he recommended was too difficult and she became frustrated. She wanted something easier to use that will save her time.
"Better records more easily kept gives greater peace of mind for my sons and I."
John is a 59 year old male, married to Sheila, a teacher aide at a local primary school. They have two adult children who live locally.
John finished high school and gained a Pest Control Certificate from TAFE.
John takes home a salary of $90,000.
After John finished high school he worked for the local hardware store, and became interested in pest control. After a few years he bought a pest franchise, which he closed after five years to start Bee Gone!
John runs his business with his two sons Peter and Paul. While John attends each site they work at, his sons do most of the physical work, and John runs the office.
John is a keen DIY buff, doing all his own home and car maintenance. He and his sons love to go sea fishing together and take family trips to Fraser Island. John and his family are all actively involved in their local church and love being a part of the community.
John primarily makes business decisions with his sons. He has a good relationship with the church treasurer, who is a retired accountant, and helps him with financial advice.
John would like to build up the business so that when he retires his sons will have a more profitable position.
He would like to enjoy his retirement, rather than worrying about the business he leaves to his sons.
Whilst John takes the lead in the office side of the business, he would like to spend less time on a computer and less time doing his books.
He is not overly comfortable using computers and would prefer to be running his business rather than learning new technology and software.
Cashflow Manager enables users to import their inventory items into the invoicing section of the software. They needed to simplify this complex process.
Clients often have large inventory lists for items they sell and frequently need to import them into the software.
The functionality already in the software was a complex and confusing process which required a twelve and a half minute training video to explain how to do it. Many users spent a long time on support calls trying to work it out.
We hypothesised that if we made the process simpler it would save the user time and give them greater satisfaction in using the product.
I was the sole UX designer in a team with two developers, a project manager and some support staff.
I was responsible for the overall direction of the redesign while collaborating with the rest of the team on ideation and user testing. We were required to make the process simpler, easier and quicker.
After researching and comparing how several products using similar processes (not just those importing products) resolved this issue, and taking into consideration user personas, I proposed a number of solutions (in conjunction with the developers and project manager) after which I conducted user testing with support team members.
A presentation was made to the CEO, and he conducted final testing remotely with a group of users of his choosing.
A small selection of products examined for their importing process.
Pictured: Xero, MYOB and Freshbooks.
We proposed a solution which retained the same functionality, but was reduced to three steps with vastly simpler instructions.
We created an Excel spreadsheet, which the user downloaded from the software, validated the data and identified changes the user needed to make prior to importing.
Competitors tried a variety of ways to approach this process, which suggested it was somewhat previously unresolved.
The main difficulty was resolving how to best import data in different formats while remaining compliant with application requirements and making the process simpler.
While some iterations were too complex and others too simple but not fully taking into account application requirements, we were able to strike the right balance in the final solution.
Users were able to import their data much more quickly and easily, which led to them saving time and having greater satisfaction with the product. This likely led to greater retention of customers. Support staff now spend less hours working on the issue, which saves business hours. Feedback about the new process from clients (via the support team) is significantly more positive than it was with the old process.
I learned that sometimes complex problems have not been well resolved by others. However, team work, and parts of the solution from different sources can give inspiration for an appropriate way forward.
Cashflow Manager enables users to customise their invoice layouts within the invoicing section of the software. The process needed a complete overhaul to become a better user experience, and then transferred from desktop to web.
When businesses send invoices they often have different requirements for what they need presented. The software allowed for default invoice configurations along with the ability to customise them. However, the defaults were often too limited and the customisable process too complex to use. It often did not function as most users expected, with language/terms hard to understand, it was very frustrating and time consuming for them.
Clients would often spend hours trying to work it out, and then eventually ask for someone in technical support to do it for them.
After the project was completed on the desktop system, we needed to transition it to the developing online platform. This required thinking through the different technology and the process being refined further.
We hypothesised that if we made the process simpler it would save the user time, give them greater satisfaction and allow our support team to avoid spending hours on fixing invoice layouts, saving the business wages.
I was the sole UX designer in a team with two developers, a project manager, support staff, and in the transition to the cloud, a remote team located overseas.
I was responsible for the overall direction of the redesign while collaborating with the rest of the team on ideation anduser testing. I was required to make the process simpler, easier and quicker, and produce final products for two different formats.
Usability testing and customer response when interacting with technical support demonstrated that this part of the software was hard to understand, difficult to use, time consuming and unable to create user satisfaction.
We decided to implement a complete overhaul of this part of the software primarily by implementing usability principles and results of research.
We conducted usability testing of the product, considered other products in the same field (such as Xero, MYOB, Freshbooks and Zoho), or with similar functionality (such as iWeb), developed wireframes and made a number of iterations before the desktop version was released. After this we considered the web version, and refined it further.
We proposed a solution which moved towards a WYSIWYG system with the ability to turn on and off options on the page via a panel of options. This enabled the user to easily do what they needed to, more quickly and without frustration.
The final product in the cloud was much closer to the original proposal, with the layout visible as the user chose their selections.
Screenshots from final desktop and online offering. Online offering also includes an example of direction/descriptions for the remote team overseas.
Initial iterations required greater consideration to technology limitations. This meant early iterations were more inspirational than final for the desktop, but were more realised with the online version.
Limited ability to incorporate user testing outside the business during the transition to web made it more difficult to gauge end results. Final user testing with external clients was conducted by the CEO with a select group of his choosing.
Working with a remote team overseas was a challenge in terms of communication. Information needed to be extremely clear, being presented as precisely and thoroughly as possible in order to avoid miscommunication.
Users could much more easily achieve their goals of creating a custom invoice layout. New users for the online product would not be put off the product by the previous method of customising invoices.
The business benefitted by committing less support hours to helping people to customise invoices and likely turned less potential clients away due to functionality which does not work as expected. Feedback from support given by clients using the new approach was significantly more positive than with the old system.
We learned that each technology has different limitations and requires a slightly different approach. We also learned that resolving long running issues through design can increase client satisfaction, save staffing hours and help to onboard new clients.
Cashflow Manager enables users to reconcile their bank accounts in order to ensure they have recorded everything accurately. The process needed to be refined and then be transferred from desktop to web.
As a part of the transition from a desktop to an online product, I was required to condense the process of the bank reconciliation to something more manageable. I was also assigned the task of refining the visual style.
The process was begun by the remote development team overseas without a focus on usability, and it required a focus on refinement and consistency.
I was the sole UX designer in a team with a project manager, some support staff, and a remote development team overseas.
I was responsible for the refinements of the redesign and ensuring the new style was tidied up and clearly identified to the remote development team overseas.
User experience observed through the support team found that the bank reconciliation took a significant amount of time, which needed to be reduced for the online product.
We decided to make the process shorter. We considered our user personas and thought about how we could make it as easier for 'middle aged and older small business owners who are not overly computer literate'. After the process was refined, we tested how quickly support operatives were able to complete the task.
I implemented the new style as per the online requirements and delivered it to the remote development team overseas.
We decided to refine the process through removing and condensing redundant stages. We began with ten steps and were able to reduce it to six. This was done by removing steps which were not necessary (as they could be completed elsewhere) and by putting some related items together.
The biggest challenge was not having access to external user testing as it only allowed us to have limited, internal assurance that the product was achieving the desired goal.
A more minor challenge was related to working with the remote development team overseas. They had begun the process of implementing the process from desktop to the cloud before the UX work was complete. This led to many interface issues to resolve with 'correcting' the work already completed (such as with consistent styling and other basic design elements), and requiring them to redo the process based on the new, refined approach.
A comparison of interface changes from before and after refinements were made.
Due to the process being faster and simpler, users were able to complete the task with greater ease, producing higher levels of user satisfaction. Comments from users via technical support operatives were positive about time saved and the simplification of the process.
It was good to have internal feedback, and comments via support, but external testing would have allowed greater understanding of the effect for users.
Alongside a focus on UX, I have been active in other areas of design work, from full branding campaigns, to graphics designed for use at a church, to logos, various print and mobile UI.
Nurturing Nannies was an Adelaide based, start up nanny agency seeking to provide high quality care for families. It was my wife’s business and I was required to conduct the entire branding and marketing solution from launch onwards.
Nurturing Nannies were looking to create a business identity which visually represented their approach to business. They positioned themselves as providing professional, personal, friendly, in-home care for every family they were employed by.
A logo, website, stationary and marketing materials were required.
I was responsible for the overall direction of the entire composition of all designs, which needed to both appeal to my wife and her customer base.
The logo: The typeface (Centrale Sans Rounded) was chosen for its rounded letterforms and elegant form. This gave a friendly, yet professional feel, which was of primary importance to the client. The symbols were chosen to show a care for a range of genders and age groups, centred by a heart, which projected a nurturing approach at the core of their thinking. The colours were more pastel rather than vibrant to communicate a softness and caring nature. The position of the symbols were likened to a mobile hanging over a baby's cot.
This logo was chosen over four other designs at an early stage by my wife as she felt this direction not only represented them well, but was not pushing into areas of cliché, such as using an umbrella (Mary Poppins).
The Website: The client desired an uncluttered interface that was easy to navigate and made the most important content easily accessible. This was resolved by adding contact information in the header and footer, with the main three areas (hiring a nanny, being hired as a nanny, and services at weddings) as prominent panels on the homepage. The colours and soft stylings continued throughout the site.
Digital Marketing: Advertising was conducted through Facebook to families and for nannies. Examples include an infographic on dietary needs for children.
Print Advertising: Nurturing Nannies produced DL flyers and A3 posters to be placed in appropriate advertising locations, such as cafes known for mothers meeting and universities where students were studying teaching.
Grace Bible Church is a church in Brisbane which seeks to serve God and the community. Information needs to be presented in a clear and aesthetically pleasing way.
Grace Bible Church has over 400 weekly attendees and each week presents a lot of content. Presentations normally require slides to be used, which should be aesthetically pleasing and clear. The church also makes use of graphics for other forms of communication, such as invites to church events.
Grace Bible Church employed me as a pastoral intern, and the church was able to capitalise on my skills as a designer. I was able to make use of my design abilities in a variety of ways, such as making slides and flyers for worship services and events. In cases that involved multiple preachers, I was given the name of the series and allowed the freedom to propose the graphical concept and its execution as appropriate.
Over a period of over two years I produced many graphics for the church to use. Here is a sample of my work.
Seeing the Real Jesus in 2020 was a network Easter campaign which sought to clarify what Jesus did at Easter. This campaign (and other major campaigns) required the design to be presented in a variety of formats, such as an A5 flyer, Website graphics, Facebook images, in-service projector slides etc. Unfortunately this campaign was not used due to Sunday services being affected due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Robbing the Reaper was a flyer created for an Easter series. The idea is that the Grim Reaper was surprised to find the tomb of Jesus empty on Easter Sunday morning.
Generous Gifts was a Christmas campaign across all three network churches, which explored the idea of gift giving and gifts being given. Again, this campaign required the usual range of formats for digital and print.
Refresh you Marriage was a marriage seminar at the church.
Called to be One is the title slide for a sermon series on the book of Ephesians. The major theme is unity of Christians, which is visually represented by the symbol.
Foretold was a sermon series for Advent. The focus was on prophetic passages which spoke about King Jesus coming in the future.
How to Deal with Heat is the title slide for a sermon on Psalm 37. The main point of the sermon was about what to do when life starts to get hard.
That you may know is the title slide for a sermon series on the book of 1 John. There are many different elements related to God throughout the book, which are each represented by an icon inside the heart in the main composition.
The Greatest Thing is the title slide for a sermon on Psalm 84. The main point of the sermon is that life with God is the greatest thing.
I am is the title slide for a sermon series on the 'I am' sayings that Jesus makes in John's Gospel. Jesus makes a number of claims about his divinity which include the words ‘I am’.
I have had the privilege of being involved with a number of independent projects. Here is a small sample of them.
JBP is the logo symbol created for Joseph Burford Photography. The client asked for a logo which incorporated the letters 'JBP' and could be clearly identified as a representing a photographer.
CD is the logo symbol created as a personal identity for the sound engineer Christopher Denton. He asked for something that could incorporate his initials, yet symbolically be seen as connected to audio equipment.
Jackie Watson asked for a logo for her work as a professional nanny. She wanted an identity which was feminine, professional and would show her as someone that works with children.
Affiliate Brochure is an example of some of the printed materials requested by Cashflow Manager during my employment with them. This tri-fold brochure was created to attract and explain the affiliate process to website owners. The concept was to show that you can enjoy yourself while your website passively earns for you.
TIC Free Workshop and Come in from the cold are examples of some of the work I completed for The Investors Club. One was a poster advertising an event and the other was a campaign encouraging members to connect back in with the club.
It's Coffee Time and La Biondina are conceptual advertising posters for the coffee chain Cibo and Primo Estate Winery.
Succulent Magazine was a publication produced for a University assignment, for which I received a High Distinction.
Cashflow Manager needed to enable their invoicing functionality to work within an iOS app. They required me (as a part of a team), to redesign the desktop UI for iPhone and iPad, which included for their US, UK and Canadian offerings. The transition from desktop to mobile was based largely on examining what was already present in the iPhone UI (such as in ‘Contacts’) and substituting in elements from Invoice Manager.
If you'd like to get in touch to chat about any of my work, or if you think I would be a good fit to help with your UX design needs I’d love to hear from you.
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I'd love to hear from you and look forward to the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss how we can work together to achieve your UX goals.
Thank you for taking the time to read through my portfolio.