Creative Digital Media

In December 2016 I completed my Masters Degree in Creative Digital Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology. I spent the final few months working on betterbia, which is detailed on its own page. This section goes through some of the other projects I worked on over the course of the degree.

This section features three projects completed while working on the Masters: a design proposal document, a design challenge, and a development assignment.

Proposal Document: Dublin Parking Application

This assignment involved identifying a common issue, and conducting a period of indepth research and analysis before proposing a design solution. The challenge was to identify user needs, and create a proposal that addressed them. It was a group project that was never brought through the design stage.

The challenge we chose to address was finding and paying for parking in Dublin.

The full document is available here. Below is a summary of the work we undertook.

Understanding the existing system

The first stage in the process was fully understanding the current system. We mapped out a number of workflows and processes that people went through while parking their car, as well as the potential pitfalls and system fails that may occur.

We mapped out each flow in the existing parking system.

Once the Dublin system was understood, we broadened our research to include parking in other cities in Ireland and abroad. Our research focused on six cities; in Ireland we looked at Galway, Cork, and Limerick; internationally, we researched London, New York, and San Francisco. We also looked at apps that currently solve the issue: JustPark is Airbnb for parking, while others map parking spots and availability, like Smooth Parking and Parker.

The final app we analysed was Dublin’s current solution, Parking Tag. We mapped out user flows, and highlighted areas the app could be improved.

Primary User Research

Following on from this body of research, we began conducting interviews and surveys with drivers in Dublin. The focus was trying to understand how people went about parking, what their thought process was, and what part of the process they failed at. The results of the interviews and surveys were all mapped out on post-it notes, and used to create affinity diagrams. This allowed us to group user concerns, and pinpoint areas of user concern that could be targeted in our solution. It also highlighted a number of confusing points that exist in the current system.

The final stage of the process was to take our insights and use them to propose a design solution. There were 4 key things that the research had pointed towards; the most important from a user perspective was implementing a tag on/tag off system when parking.

We defined 4 areas to focus the design effort on.

The insights led to the creation of a paper prototype, built with POP, which illustrated the proposed design workflow.

Vehicle Removal Application

The aim of this project was to take an existing workflow and redesign it. The assigned workflow was part of the Dublin City Council website, to report an abandoned vehicle for removal. The assignment was in two parts; the first to create a document detailing the main failings of the existing workflow, and the second to design a more effective one. The document is described below, and the full version is available here.

Analysing the workflow

The document broke down the workflow, and analysed it using Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics. There were 5 main issues that arose from the analysis; each issue was rated on the frequency of the issue, and the impact the issue had on the user journey. The 5 issues were: Help, User Controls & Inputs, Language, Error Handling & Prevention, and Complex Workflows.

The aim was to keep each issue as a one page punch line, so it was easily recognisable and digestible. The issue was highlighted using screen shots from throughout the workflow.

The redesign of the workflow took the insights from the heuristic review, and applied them as design drivers. A new, user centric workflow was developed. The designs were drawn in Sketch, before being imported to Principle. This allowed for full control of animations and transitions throughout the workflow.

New insights allowed us to define the design direction and informed the decisions we made.


This was a development assignment to build an application using jQuery Mobile, calling data from APIs and an SQL database. The developed application was for students of D.I.T., and should tell them information about classes and times.

The project was built using a local server, and the database calls will not work without one running. For this reason, the project HTML and JS files have been pulled in to a CodePen below, with the full project stored on a GitHub page, available here.

Working on this project was my first exposure to a number of development ideas, like asynchronous Javascript and single page applications. It informed my future work with AngularJS, and the development of betterbia.