Hello, I am

a designer
a researcher
an anthropologist
disabled

I am a designer and anthropologist passionate about making services work for people and our planet. My creative practice is driven by openness, curiosity, imagination, and collaboration. I use approaches and methods from service design, co-design, ethnography, and social research. This allows me to unravel and re-imagine experiences and services, and to lead and engage others in this process. I thrive where research, design and strategy meet.

I care deeply about inclusive design and the impact my work has. This led me to work with startups, consultancies, charities, governments, and health and social care organisations. Currently I’m learning about public speaking, leadership, planet centred design, and permaculture. Here I reflect on, learn, and share what I’m discovering about understanding humans and designing services.

Work Highlights

iPad displaying child benefit digital service page

Making Child Benefit Digital

Service Design | Design Leadership

drawing of three personas

Carers Census

Health | Service Design

illustration of doctor and patient with digital prescription on screen

Digital Prescribing

Health | Service Design

hand moving over board with colourful hexagon tiles

Service Patterns in Health

Health | Service Design | Strategy

diagram showing different aspects of health services grouped in four categories

The NHS: A taxonomy

Health | Service Design | Strategy

eleven colourful squares each explaining a barrier

Universal Barriers

Health | Service Design | User Research

illustration of a circular journey and quote from a patient at the centre

Endocrinology Pathways

Health | Service Design

graphic showing a design template for two circles. Each cirlce represents a user or staff journey.

Experience Map

Health | Service Design

photo of a hand and a pile of wood chips engraved with medical icons

Scottish Access Collaborative

Health | Service Design

illustration of three personas and a drone

Future of Care at Home

Health | Speculative Design

photo of an exhibition table displaying framed prototypes of a mobile app

Salty Lives

Health | Design

photo of a printed report in newspaper format with yellow and purple font

Evaluating Experience Labs

Design Leadership | Strategy

photo of a colourful credit card about to move into a slot in a cardboard box

Collaborative Futures

Speculative Design | Prototyping

photo of a standing stone in front of hills and the sea

Design for Island Life

Ethnography | Community Engagement

photo of someone holding a large foldable poster displaying a diagram in yellow, grey, and black

Design and Citizenship

Health | Strategy

photo of a miniature plastic bowl of Japanese noodle soup

The Future of Food

Speculative Design | Research

illustration showing icons and a hand drawn onto a photo of gym lockers

BPay at the Gym

Strategy | User Experience

a photo showing Chinese shadow puppets in front of a white screen

Making a Difference

Ethnography | Anthropology | Research

a photo of chairs arranged in a circle around a table with books and a flower vase

Ritual and Change

Ethnography | Anthropology | Research

photo of a printed diagram in black, white, and teal colours

Droplet

Service Design | Business Model

skills

Leadership & Strategy

Reflective design practitioner committed to continuous learning. Experienced in scoping and leading design work. Good at involving others in conversation and collaboration around design. And at assuring work meets high standards. Confident managing relationships. And communicating the value of design to stakeholders and team members at all levels.

Coaching & Capacity Building

Experienced in working alongside non-design teams. Including training and coaching to increase capacity and understanding, and embedding user-centred approaches. Confident in mentoring others and highlighting the benefits of design-led approaches. Good at contributing to strategic conversations, and championing inclusive design.

Inclusion & Equalities

Value-driven. Confident in developing and implementing strategies towards a more inclusive design practice. Experienced facilitator of in-person and remote co-design work. For example for Scottish Care, Digital Health and Care Institute, NHS Scotland, Scottish Government, Royal Bank of Scotland, NHS Digital Service, The Alliance, and Crisis.

Collaboration & Engagement

Confident working alongside a range of colleagues, stakeholders, and co-designers. Thrive in multi-disciplinary teams of domain experts, policy professionals, software engineers, product and programme managers, researchers, and designers. Good public speaking skills. Including talks on service design at Collaborate Bristol 2022, Digital Scotland 2020, Digital Health and Care Network, The Alliance self-management week, NHS Design Community of Practice, and Scottish Care annual conference.

Research & Analysis

Skilled in designing, planning and conducting ethical user research. Confident using qualitative methods including interviews, ethnography, workshops, engagement tools, and user testing. Experienced in analysing research data. And translating data into actionable design directions for delivery teams. Good at visualising research insights using design tools such as journey maps, service blueprints, or personas.

Design & Synthesis

Confident at developing, selecting, adapting, and applying design tools and methods. Excel at translating needs of users, staff, and organisations into service concepts. And at engaging others in this process. Experienced in using design to ideate, prototype, and iterate digital or service solutions. Good at communicating how design decisions were reached. And at creating prototypes, visual maps, user journeys, personas, or service blueprints to articulate and test solutions.

Experience

Service Design Practice Lead At Opencast Software Since Jul 2023

I provide strategic direction, drive technical excellence, and balance practice growth and utilisation. I also foster innovation and run Opencast's service design community of practice.

Course Lead At University of Edinburgh, Usher Institute Since Jan 2024

I lead on the 'Foundations in Design' course as part of the University of Edinburgh's 'MSc Leading Digital Transformation in Health and Care for Scotland' programme. Working closely with the programme team, I create a course summary, learning outcomes, and assessment design for the course. I craft appropriate content and activities to help students achieve these learning outcomes. And facilitate engagement on the programme by contributing to online discussions, attending office hours, and chairing live sessions.

Senior Service Designer At Opencast Software, HMRC Aug 2022 to Jun 2023

I worked with a cross-functional team at HMRC to deliver a digital service for claiming child benefit. Leading a team of less experienced designers, I promoted good practice in a rapid and complex project. I supported my team to develop and iterate internal processes collaboratively. This included documenting and evidencing design decisions, working in the open, and seeking feedback. Within the wider programme, I acted as a strong design voice. I enabled collaboration across silos and promoted the value and importance of design roles. And I supported others to confidently influence and advocate for user-centred design.

Senior Service Designer At NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland Feb 2021 to Aug 2022

I championed inclusive design, and provided design expertise at all levels. This included influencing senior stakeholders in NHS and government. And helping to organise Scotland’s emerging design community of practice in health and care. I also led service design across multiple long-term strategic programmes. My role was to coach clinical teams on applying design tools and methods. And to support them to create and implement system change.

Service Designer At NHS NES Digital Service Oct 2019 to Feb 2021

I joined a new team developing digital tools from within the NHS. I established and nurtured equality, diversity, and inclusive design practices. I also led service design for multiple agile delivery teams. This meant developing processes and methods to embed people’s needs at the centre of our products, content, and services. I defined the direction and strategy for the new National Digital Platform to enable service transformation across different parts of health and care.

Service Designer At Cohesion Medical Oct 2018 to Sep 2019

I worked on products to better record and manage clinical data. I collaborated with engineers and other designers. And I ensured all products are person-centred and enable end-to-end journeys. I supported business strategy, and helped to identify and curate compelling examples of our work.

Research Associate At The Glasgow School of Art, Digital Health and Care Institute May 2018 to Sep 2019

Working as part of a multidisciplinary design team, I supported multiple projects. I developed new methods for collaborative workshops for Scottish Government. I trained colleagues in a method I developed for mapping complex cross-organisational services. I mentored junior designers. And I taught postgraduate students design ethnography and innovation for health and care.

Innovation Designer At The Glasgow School of Art, Institute of Design Innovation Apr 2017 to Apr 2018

My role was to evaluate the work of GSA's health and care design lab. I designed and conducted interviews and creative workshops. This was to involve a variety of stakeholders in the process. I also researched and curated innovative processes, approaches, and tools in the field. I developed strategies for embedding these to make the team's co-design work more inclusive, fair, and impactful.

Graduate Designer At The Glasgow School of Art, Collaborative Futures Sep 2016 to Jan 2017

I mentored and worked alongside a multidisciplinary student team. We explored the future of banking through in-depth research into emerging behaviours. We prototyped and tested speculative concepts, and produced actionable recommendations. The resulting tools supported the client team to embed user centred design into their practice.

Business Analyst At Neat Living Jun 2014 to Jun 2015

I helped clarify the business opportunity for this startup. I tested it against the target market. And I redefined the value proposition and business model with people at its centre. I managed partnerships with West College and Strathclyde University. They were aimed at involving young people in design.

Design Ethnographer At 360 Studio Jan 2015 to Mar 2015

I worked in a multidisciplinary team of designers and researchers at this innovation studio. I carried out primary research and synthesized the results. I used these to support the design of new potential user experiences. Based on insights from user research, my team and I mapped a comprehensive service blueprint. And we identified future opportunities to pilot this in new markets.

Volunteering

Co-Organiser At European Association of Social Anthropologists Since Nov 2022

The Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists is the main European platform dedicated to the exchange of information and experiences related to practical applications of anthropology and ethnography. I help run an online network and organise a series of talks. We meet, exchange ideas, best practice and resources on applying an anthropology perspective to health and social care.

Registry Advisor At Cystic Fibrosis Trust Jun 2017 to Jun 2020

I brought both lived experience and design expertise to this work. I advised the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust in developing a Registry dashboard. People with CF would be able to securely view their health information and enter wellbeing data that can be added to their NHS record.

Residential Carer At Camphill Vallersund Gaard, Norway Sep 2010 to Jun 2011

I lived and worked in an ecovillage and community of purpose. It was shared by disabled and non-disabled people on a small peninsula close to Trondheim in Norway. I learnt to weave and to knit, to cook, to collaborate, to love snow, and to pass very long winters.

Residential Carer At CSV London Sep 2008 to Jun 2009

I provided care and company for someone living with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I shared their home, countless cups of tea, and - with a little encouragement - an active life and love for buzzing London.

Education

MDes | Design Innovation & Citizenship The Glasgow School of Art | With Distinction Sep 2015 to Sep 2016

I developed my human-centred design practice. I focused on collaboration and translating research insights into inclusive service concepts. I explored how design can be used to understand, critically examine, and re-imagine the cultures, institutions and systems that shape our world. And to articulate preferable futures.

MA | Anthropology & Sociology The University of Glasgow | First Class Sep 2011 to Jun 2014

I gained theoretical knowledge and practical experience of designing and conducting ethical research projects. I learnt to use qualitative methods such as ethnography and interviews. Moreover, I developed critical thinking and a sociological imagination. This means relating individual biographies to culture, contexts, and systems.

Training