1 – Research inclusive design


Each design decision tends to include or exclude the customers. On the other side, inclusive design considers as many customer's needs and abilities as possible. It stretches wider than accessibility, which is mainly focused on people with certain disabilities and making sites usable for them.

The proposition of inclusive design is that aside from permanent disabilities there are temporary, situational or changing disabilities that can affect us all. Temporary impairment can occur when we use mobile devices in noisy surroundings, when we struggle with screen glare etc.


Principle 1: Learn from diversity

People should be at the centre from the very start of the process, and those different perspectives of each person are the key to true insight.

Principle 2: Solve for one, extend to many

Everyone has certain abilities and disabilities. If we focus on designing for people with disabilities, we can easily end up with a design that benefits to people universally.

Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use

No matter what user's knowledge or concentration level is, the design should be intuitive and easy to understand. There should be no complexity and a proper feedback should be given during and after task completion.


Validation of the problem

As people age, they regularly experience difficulties with their motor or cognitive capabilities. In the recent study published by Alzheimer Society of Ireland (2017), it has been stated that the risk of developing dementia increases in older age. They also predict that 150,000 people will be living with dementia by 2046 in Ireland.

This means that the need for carers of people with dementia will also increase. At the moment, family members are providing that care – mostly a spouse or a partner who is similar age as the patient. More than 15% of people have quit their jobs so they can care for their partner and almost 50% of partners/carers said they spent all of their time when they were awake looking after their spouse.



Concept map
Concept map


Study has also shown that 75% of the carers had a "good mental health", while 13.4% of the them had a moderate level of psychological pain. Aggression, anxiety, irritability and night-time behavioural disruptions were graded as the most distressing care-recipient symptoms by carers.

They also found out that 33% of carers had seen a doctor because of the emotional problems they had, and 14% done this after their partner was diagnosed with dementia. 37% of carers reported clinically serious symptoms of the depression.

The scariest fact here is that the depression symptoms did not decrease within those who stopped providing care at follow-up. This means that carers are at a high risk of mental health problems and they should receive the support even after finishing their caregiving role.

The biggest aspect to carer stress was the severity of the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Having that in mind, it's no surprise that carer’s confidence in handling these symptoms decreased over time. This highlights the specific challenges of dementia care and the importance of considering a tool/app that could help both patient when having behavioural disruptions and the carer as well, knowing what to do in the specific situation and calm after.



Brennan, S., Lawlor, B., Pertl, M., & O'Sullivan, M. (2017). De-Stress-Report-2017[Pdf]. Dublin: The Alzheimer Society if Ireland.

Clark, J., & Clark, J. (2017, May 16). Using the Amazon Echo to improve the lives of Alzheimer's patients. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://medium.com/@JaysThoughts/using-the-amazon-echo-to-improve-the-lives-of-alzheimers-patients-f5727560a5eb

Dementia Friendly Hospital Guidelines from a Universal Design Approach. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2019, from http://universaldesign.ie/News-events/News/-Dementia-Friendly-Hospital-Guidelines-from-a-Universal-Design-Approach.html

Health, U. (2013, May 09). What is Dementia? | Dr. David B. Reuben - UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIUEBXt0ako

Lindberg, O. (2018, March 23). Inclusive Design: 12 Ways to Design for Everyone – Shopify. Retrieved April 22, 2019, from https://www.shopify.ie/partners/blog/inclusive-design

Logan, B. (2016). Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://www.caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors

Kakehi, T., & Kakehi, T. (2018, October 31). Inclusive Design: Those ignored that we must design for. Retrieved April 13, 2019, from https://uxdesign.cc/inclusive-design-those-ignored-that-we-must-design-for-e48243a62216

Miller, J., & Miller, J. (2018, October 18). Inclusive Design and Accessibility. Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://blog.prototypr.io/inclusive-design-and-accessibility-50718a3ac768

Tannam, E. (2018, August 02). 'Never assume anything': The golden rules for inclusive design. Retrieved April 13, 2019, from https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/henny-swan-inclusive-design

What is Design For All? (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2019, from http://designforall.org/design.php

Waller, S., Deane, J. G., Bradley, M., Hosking, I., Langdon, P., & Clarkson, J. (n.d.). Inclusive Design Toolkit. Retrieved April 13, 2019, from http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/whatis/whatis.html

What is Universal Design. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2019, from http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/

Xiao, L., & Xiao, L. (2018, June 21). 6 Principles for Inclusive Design. Retrieved April 13, 2019, from https://uxplanet.org/6-principles-for-inclusive-design-3e9867f7f63e


1 - Project overview & Team responsibilities

In the second project this academic year we'll be focused on choosing an existing app, with a goal to redesign it and improve the existing user experience.

This time I'm in a group with Andrè, and because it's just two of us, we thought it wouldn't be useful to just divide the tasks. That's why we decided to do all the work together, so both of us can have a better knowledge of each step of the process. 

We decided to redesign the Aer Lingus mobile app because we found a huge number of bad reviews on both App Store and Google Play. Even though the users were mostly complaining about the app crashing (which we cannot fix), we found out that they were missing booking the "multi-city" trip via the app.

Reviews - App Store
Reviews, source: App Store


Reviews, source: Google Play (Aer Lingus)

Some of my colleagues were also complaining about the app not being completely usable, so I found that as a challenge and also as a good opportunity for usability testing afterward, from the people that use this app often.

Project Management

Andrè created a project management timeline with specific start dates and deadlines, and goals of what we should do during this project. This helped us significantly because we had a clear picture of when and what to do in every moment, even though I would prefer to have smaller steps highlighted in each stage.

The project plan with tasks and milestones on the half-way

Project Plan
The project plan with tasks and milestones at the end


As I started with writing the blog and describing our process, I felt we need something containing more details and showing a better picture of our work so I created our timeline containing important milestones.


Click on the image will take you to an online version



Most of the time we communicated through Slack, but we also used shared Google Slides to exchange materials and ideas. Collaborative tool, Figma, turned out to be a good solution not just for designing and prototyping, but also for creating personas, customer journey maps, "as-is" scenarios etc.


Using Figma for Personas & Empathy maps


We also created a DropBox shared folder which we mainly used for the usability testing materials and videos. 


User Problems

Focusing on our user's goals and the reasons why they use the Aer Lingus app, and what do they expect while using it helped us to create the product they'll hopefully enjoy to use.


What jobs do they want or need to get done?

Apart from booking the return flight, users also want to book a multi-city trip via Aer Lingus mobile app.

How will we know they were successful?

Having in mind that this feature is not currently available on the mobile app, we will know that they are successful when they actually book a multi city trip by Aer Lingus app.


What do they need to do differently?

If they want to use this feature, they have to visit the Aer Lingus desktop site or open another competitor's app.

What consequences are caused by these?

Losing the profit for Aer Lingus because they cannot provide this service to customers that only use a mobile app or for those "on the go".


Problem statement
Problem statement


Please continue reading, follow on to the next step User Research 


Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D., & Cooper, A. (2014). About face: The essentials of interaction design. Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley and Sons.

Research - ph1

1 - Research and introducing the problem


We got our first assignment this year - Paper Prototyping and Evaluation. As the assignment sheet wasn't really clear enough, the first step was to read everything very carefully and make a clear plan of the things to be done. Also, I needed subject and the title for each one of the 4 blog posts.


To-Do List
My interpretation of the M1 Assignment, with entire process in chronological order


After scribbling everything in my notebook, I came up with the following process that I'm going to describe in my 4 blog posts:

  1. Research (eg. observations, competitor analysis, online reviews, user testing) and defining the problem we will try to solve or experience we'll try to improve
  2. Develop two personas that characterise the banking app users with at least 2 scenarios for one of them
  3. Develop a paper prototype of how the banking app should be redesigned to provide desired experience
  4. Evaluate the developed prototype using appropriate technology


Research phase


As our assignment is to design and evaluate a paper prototype for a banking app - Peter, Rob and myself decided to go with AIB mobile app because of the obvious reason - it's available to all of us. In this way will be easy to do research, test and track the progress.

Next step was to examine the usability and user experience of AIB and competitor banking apps.


Competitor Analysis
Competitor Analysis based on goals


We decided to put our focus on the goals when doing the competitor analysis, which helped us realise that AIB had an easy flow without big obstacles. On the other side, PTSB failed on all of our tasks, showing us either really complicated and painful flow (Login and Loan Application) or no flow at all (Transfer funds to a new person).

To reassure our decision, we decided to check the reviews on Google Play and App Store. We found out that on over 80 reviews - almost half of them mentioned the same issue over again - which is Login process.

Below are some screenshots of the most popular reviews we run into when doing the research:



Another research technique we agreed on was observation and testing the current version of the PTSB mobile app. It was hard to test it with all the personal informations Peter had in the app, so we decided to create wireframes that looked like the real app. I used Figma to mockup and connect the screens in testable prototype.


Figma Prototype
Click here to view Figma Prototype of the PTSB existing banking app


All went well, until I started the "Apply for a Loan" flow - which took more than one day of sitting in front of computer and creating number of Terms&Conditions, Consents and similar screens (more than 40 screens in total).

Work had to be done, so I finished with the prototype and we were ready to go with the first round of testing.


Owen UT

Click on the image to watch the walkthrough of the entire PTSB journey we did with Owen.


Introducing the problem

As these were the goals we chose earlier in the process when doing the competitor analysis, I'm going to describe each one of them and include some notes from the testing.

1. Login

Login with PTSB is not as easy as with other banks. Each time you want to login, you have to provide:

  1. Open24 number (which is basically a set of numbers placed on your debit card),
  2. your password,
  3. your PAN.

This turns a seamless-to-be-process as "Login" into a painful 25 seconds process.
No "Touch ID" or "Face ID" available, which makes this app even less user friendly - compared to all of the other competitor apps that have this feature.




We also did heuristics evaluation, and this task satisfed only 3 out of 10 Nielsons heuristics. We knew we had to do something to improve the flow and the entire user experience.


10N - Login
This task satisfied only 3 out of 10 Nielsen's heuristics. We'll focus on remaining 7 heuristics and hopefully improve overall user experience.


2. Transfer funds to a new person

This task wasn't available in the mobile PTSB app. In order to transfer the money to a new person, you have to log in into your PTSB internet banking on your laptop/tablet.




Also, nowhere in the flow is mentioned that this action is not available on mobile phone, like an "error prevention" as described in 10 Nielsens heuristics. When you reach the last screen, you get a small warning on the bottom of the page - Note: it took more than 2 min to notice this message for some of our users.


This task satisfied only 2 out of 10 Nielsens heuristics. But also we need to have in mind that this flow doesn't exist on the mobile app - so we're building something completely new.


3. Apply for a loan

This task contains 21 screen in total, with various declarations that could be easily placed on one page and with a lots of confirmation screens. The unwanted friction and cognitive load on users should be minimised as much as possible, because people in general just want to get things done as effortlessly as possible.




This task satisfied only 2 out of 10 Nielsens heuristics.


Even though it was a real challenge to improve this task, the only thing we could do is basically just reduce the number of steps - which is as simple as that. Also, we figured out that redesigning this task wouldn't bring us as much as value as the time that we would spend in improving it, so we decided to leave it aside for now and focus on the Login (with included Forgot PAN option) and Transfer to a New Person.



  1. Douglas, S., & Douglas, S. D. (2017, September 25). How To Do A UX Competitor Analysis: A Step By Step Guide. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from https://usabilitygeek.com/how-to-do-ux-competitor-analysis/
  2. 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design: Article by Jakob Nielsen. (1995, January 1). Retrieved September 28, 2018, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/
  3. Designing Friction For A Better User Experience. (2018, January 10). Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/01/friction-ux-design-tool/
  4. Budiu, R. (2017, June 4). A Checklist for Registration and Login Forms on Mobile. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/checklist-registration-login/