Selected projects

From these diverse contexts; Hospital ward, Truck stop, Automotive installation, Craft brewery, Motorhomes

Hospital in-patient experience

Client: CDHB.
Location: Christchurch, NZ.

I worked with hospital staff on wards and at patients’ bedsides to capture inpatients’ emotional responses to the experience of their stay. Without doubt the most sensitive environment and subject matter I’ve worked with so far.

After discharge we visited patients and their families at home for a reflection on the experience.

A clear picture emerged, of what matters to a patient, from environment, to information to service, and their associated feelings. Together, the team formed key design principles to meet the emotional needs of patients.

In some interviews I used live-sketching to capture notes, It was fun so I wrote a short article about my technique, with ‘top tips’.

Healthcare patient experience
CDHB Patient emotional journey

Hospital ward prototyping

Client: CDHB Design Lab.
Location: A GIANT warehouse. Christchurch, NZ.

CDHB-Hospital ward prototyping

I helped plan and lead a series of ward design / prototyping exercises with a super diverse set of stakeholders – from cleaners to clinicians, anaesthetists to architects.

I worked with a team of anthropologists and architects from Seattle-based design agency, NBBJ to facilitate full-size prototyping and simulation exercises, using cardboard for walls, medical staff and actors to test various scenarios of use.

No Trucking Worries

Client: Blackbay.
Location: Virginia, USA.

I was dropped into Richmond, Virginia and the world of the long haul trucker. As I found out, Richmond is smack in the middle of the Interstate 95, the busiest highway on the east coast, connecting 15 States.

 My role was to capture the voice of the driver, the way they communicated on the road and the information they handled along the way.

Big rigs, 53 foot trailers, truck stops and the dedicated ‘tribe’ whose mantras were either ‘live to drive’, or ‘drive to survive’.

After a few days of interviews I was talking their language of lumpers, spots, hooks, dead-heads and bob-tails.

I worked in classic diners and freight depots, alongside product managers to inform the design of an app to let drivers spend more time eating up highway and less time worrying.

Yes, the app is called No Trucking Worries.

Blackbay- Voice of the customerBlackbay-NTW-screen

Rock’n’roll radio

Client: Tait Radio.
Location:Christchurch, NZ.

Tait Radio-design-researchTait-prototype

To help Tait adopt a user centred approach to product development I planned and facilitated a rapid ‘learning by doing’ user centred design workshop focussing on installation of their in-vehicle radio systems.

This was a hands-on capability-building activity focussed on a specific project with the idea they could roll out the same approach on other projects.

I coached the team around research and analysis techniques, then took them through to prototyping and testing their concepts with their live customers.

I loved seeing engineers dig deep to define customer needs, then work together with plasticine and pipe-cleaners, receiving valuable feedback before moving designs forward.

Craft brewing insights

Location: Portland, Oregon.
Client: imake / (via Better by Design).

Portland is the world’s capital of micro breweries and craft brewers.

Visiting with imake’s team from NZ, Australia and USA, we stepped inside the garages, basements and minds of craft brewers, aiming to understand what makes them tick, and how they approach brewing.

My role as part of Better By Design is to help build design capacity within NZ export companies. In many cases this starts with understanding customer needs, so getting out in the field like this was a perfect first step towards customer empathy.

In Oregon, I briefed the team on how to get the most from contextual interviews, supported them in the field, then coached them through collaborative analysis.

A deep dive into brewing culture, but my satisfaction came in that it was the client team who drew out the insights and identified opportunities for marketing and product development.

Brewing customer researchHome Brewers' customer insights. Portland

Read the full-hop case study for this delicious project.

Living the dream, via your own motorhome

Client: Tourism Holdings.
Location: Australia and NZ.

Campervan customer experience

Campervan customer journey map

We’ve all been stuck behind one on a hill on the way to the beach, but what’s it like to buy a home, and a vehicle at the same time? We set out to find out.

I worked alongside Ed Burak, THL’s lead experience designer to provide research muscle on a project around motorhome sales.

Motorhome buyers are a fairly relaxed bunch, usually at retirement age and with some time on their hands, but buying one of these rolling holiday homes is not always a holiday.

 From a few dozen interviews with owners, buyers, salespeople and experts, we poured our insights into a customer journey map highlighting parts of the buyers’ journey where the experience could be improved.

… and as you’ll see, some of my illustrations for the journey map were verging on the autobiographical. Yes, the waves were always like that in my memories.

Case Study: Craft brewing

Craft brewing customer interview I coached a team from a home brewing brand to take a user centred approach to product development by guiding them through the design research process. Read the full-hop case study

Case Study: Kiwibank ATMs

Kiwibank ATM customer experience research
My research helped a bank shape it's future ATMs around what matters to it's customers. Read full case study

Insights from Nick’s Blog:

Respect, instinct and bedside manner.
My patient experience research toolkit from on-the-ward healthcare projects.

Games people play during user research.
How I use picture and word games to combat two annoying but universal truths.

Humble pie, served on a bed of chaos.
Being comfortable with chaos is a blessing in UX and design research...

If any of the projects or approaches above strike a chord with where you’re at, or where you’d like to be in your development process, contact me to hear how a user centred process can bring insight to your project.