Hello — I'm Nick Healey

I've been designing award-winning, people-pleasing, industry-changing tech products for over 20 years.

We call it "User Experience Design" (UX) but it's just Product Design, in software: what the product should do and how, so that it does what users want, in ways they understand, like, love.

Below, examples of what I know & what I've done. My designs have changed industries, because they work first time, out-of-the-box, for ordinary people.

Things I do

On any project I might do some combination of these:

  • User research
  • Workflows
  • UI Wireframes
  • Inventing and patenting

Not me, by the way:

  • Coding prototypes
  • Graphic Design

Things I know

Good User Surveys = wider market

Behind any good survey lies great care:
— Have a Comments box for every question - provides all kinds of eye-opening input
— Fewer questions = better data. If no answer would change things, lose the question
— One misunderstanding can wreck it - find your best wordsmiths, and have dry-runs

Early Design = better Agile

Before you start coding features, have you:
— Maximised your target user base
— Made workflows to cover their goals
— Done product-wide wireframes, just deep enough to know things hang together?
Otherwise — wrong features, wrong people?

Design For Everyone = more sales

Most tech still gives normal users problems (you'll know, if you do user research). E.g.:
— We like "min taps, max speed"; normal users prefer obviousness
— They want bombproof data & UI! They fear Settings, in case they "break" something!
Plus: disposable income increases with age...

What To Fix? ...ask Apple

Which bugs stop you shipping? Who decides?
— Each user goal is a chain of stuff, as strong as its weakest link
— But both the weakness, and the fix, may seem irrelevant in tech terms
— So: user-aware people should decide what to fix & how (guess why Apple do it like that?)

Things I've done

 

UX Designer for Inamo, and its on-table interactive ordering experience, voted 'Best Restaurant in London' by Time Out readers

UX/Design Consultant to Flook, a location-explorer iPhone app, which won 'Best User Experience' at the Mobile Premier Awards, Barcelona. (It was also 'Staff Pick' on both the US and UK Apple store)

UX/Design Consultant to Zeebox, a TV-accompaniment iPad app, which Apple made their AppStore 'App of the Week'

Designer and Project Leader for PsiWin, a file manager & connectivity suite, which won 'Best UK Product' at Ziff-Davis Europe's "Software Excellence Awards"

Sole UX/Software Designer of the original Symbian OS, a mobile platform so well-received that the world's mobile industry came together and made it the world smartphone standard for the next 10 years.

I've designed a huge range of apps, UIs, and devices over the years, for dozens of clients of all sizes.

Patents: I wrote my first patent while still at Symbian. Since leaving there:
— I have filed two patent applications of my own, one hardware and one software — both patents were granted and both sold
— I've been contracted by two companies to help them with the patent creation process
— I've conducted half a dozen prior art research projects for a variety of law firms, mainly as the User Interface specialist at Hillebrand Consulting Engineers

Things people say

 

Charles Davies, CTO TomTom, Psion:
"Nick is one of those rare people who can design world-class software experiences and will change the mindset of software development teams he works with to design more from the user experience backwards."
Paul Sherwood, CEO Codethink, Teleca:
"Nick is the first person I turn to for guidance on user interaction design. He brings unique insight, and is superb at bridging the gap between users, designers and engineers."
Colly Myers, CEO 63336, Symbian:
"Nick is simply one of the world's best UI designers. Having honed his skills at Psion he has gone on to work on a wide range of products over many years, giving him wisdom as well as bone deep knowledge of design."
Jane Sales, founder of Ambient Industries, creators of 'Flook':
"Nick has that unusual ability in an ex-techie (not that he'd thank you for reminding him of that) to understand how 'normal' people think. He was invaluable during the design phase of Flook, helping me to design a UI that the user never feels lost in, and that delights and pleases."
Danny Potter, founder of Inamo Restaurants:
"We believe Nick is one of the world's outstanding people when it comes to user interface design. If more people built user-friendly interfaces like Nick, then the world would be a simpler, easier and better place to live and work in."
Mark Gretton, CTO Crave Interactive, TomTom:
"At Crave we put diners in control of the food ordering process, and fundamental to that is a Tablet UX that's completely intuitive. Our user tests threw up a seemingly intractable design problem, but after half a day with Nick we had an elegant solution that our users loved."

Info / Contact

"Wait – why is this site so simple?"
Every design wants to be "simple." (If it succeeds, it'll get called "obvious" - but "simple" is rarely obvious.)

"Did this design start from some template or other?"
Sure, if a template takes you half the way, why start from scratch? I design products, not CSS.

"Why can't I check you out from your Social Media?"
We second-guess people from recycled opinions on blogs and social media - can I offer better?
How about (1) the above taster of "Things I Know" and "Things I've Done", plus (2) if you've an interesting project and you're wondering whether I might help, try me out for free - tell me about your project, then point me at some relevant product, spec or design and I'll write you a little review, free of charge -

Email me