Reflections on my MA studies

Reflection on my MA in Interaction Design in IT Carlow. September 2015, when I started my journey into Master’s level in education, little did I know how emotionally invested I would become. The process I went through slowly brought me into a world of change and reflection. Reflection on my journey, my actions, my feelings, my design work, my design process itself and the research process.

Throughout the year, I have ‘discovered’ that I have a penchant for research and writing. I’ve also discovered the ways that I value learning, gaining knowledge, and sharing knowledge. Perhaps it’s a by-product of being a web designer, in that I’ve always felt the need to educate my clients, to the ways of going about presenting information to their own clients. Ways to design a particular aspect of a website and informing clients as to why a particular approach might be right for them, or just right for their website from a semantic perspective.

The subject of my thesis was the re-design of an Irish nursing website, using design thinking and co-design with nurses. Co-design, for me, is a form of ‘sense-making’, particularly so when the individuals who need the web service are encouraged to make sense of their own online environment. Co-designing with the nurses proved to be a very worthwhile methodology as a process to aid them in realising their own needs and wants from their website.

Collaboration with Frontend and IOM

Sandra Reid pictured at Frontend/IOM Collaboration

Image source: (Working with a fellow student in Frontend’s studio).

A Future Vision for Migrant Healthcare

Following on from a previous post, the end result of the collaboration with Frontend and IOM (The Internation Organisation for Migration), culminated in a ‘Future Vision for Migrant Healthcare‘, encapsulated in a video and website, telling the story of the collaboration and the solution.

The project highlights the work carried out and how it might proceed in reality for migrant health.

It was an honour to have been chosen to be part of this worthy collaboration.

Better still, I’m proud to say I’m now an International Interaction (IxD) Design Awardee, 2017.

IOM – Reimaging Medication Labelling

Collaboration and design at Frontend Bootcamp

Migrant project with Frontend/IOM

For three days this week, I had the pleasure of being part of a collaboration between Frontend – a UX Design Consultancy based in Dublin and The International Organisation for Migration – IOMJohn Buckley from Frontend, organised the bootcamp event – kudos to John!

I, along with two other MA students from  plus seven other MA in Interaction Design students from around Ireland, were selected to take part in a three day long design bootcamp.  I saw this as an extremely valuable opportunity to work on a very meaningful project, with real social impact.

Having listened to the story of a Syrian family’s journey by foot to Germany, I was engulfed with a sense of empathy, and compassion. In my younger years I had the experience of hitch-hiking around various parts of Europe.  I was immediately brought back to memories of ‘being on the road’ and all the feelings of being reliant on the generosity of other people. It’s one thing having a choice to do something but it’s an entirely different scenario when one is forced to flee their home, like the Syrians.

Design Task

Within a group of ten designers, we formed four groups working collaboratively to tackle various aspects of the problem, to arrive at solutions encompassing Service Design, Information Design, An App or Website, along with a Product Design solution.   Our broad task was to design a health pack for the physical well being of the migrants, and to direct information to IOM and the Aid Workers via an online solution. The problem required a systems thinking approach, one which would connect all the facets of the situation.

Mind Map

With emotion and empathy deeply ingrained, I began looking at the problem from the perspectives of the Migrant, The IOM and the Aid Workers. What follows is my first initial conceptual mind-map on the problem, which informed the service design team’s thinking on the problem.Mind Map




As with all complex problems, initial thoughts always begin with looking at the problem holistically. In this case it was the interactions between the Migrants, the Aid Workers and the IOM, and how an online solution could narrow the gaps of communication between all impacted by the problem, and ultimately help provide some form of aid to the migrants. (Red coloured infographic compliments of the service design team).

My heart goes out to the migrants, hopefully our involvement is the start of something that can really make a difference.


IxD – Interaction Design


Interaction Mapping

This is a project I’ve been working on for a while now. The above interaction map has been defined and drawn up based on research with users and stakeholders who are part of a non-profit Irish nursing organisation. Gaps have been identified, followed by a design hypothesis that co-creation can have a positive impact on the future building of the website.

As this is an ongoing project, further extensive research will be required with key players in the NCPA/HSE. It is hoped that these stakeholders will partake in the flow of information that the nurses require to enable them to carry out their work on a daily basis.

For a full view of the interaction map, please see this larger version.

Co-Creation form building workshop.