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Hello, I have recently graduated from Coventry University with Master of Design with Honours Upper Second Class in Product Design with Industry Enhancement. I have an innate ability to empathise with, and a passion for understanding people. I believe these qualities are what drive my desire to work as part of a design research team striving to develop user centred products. I’m always eager to continue learning, to appreciate new experiences and to diversify and expand my ways of thinking.











Final Year University Project A research driven project focusing on preventative techniques for stress. Resulting in a product outcome of home lighting.


RESEARCH “How might we encourage meaningful offline experiences which enhance well-being in the home, to act as a preventative technique for stress?�

Resulting in a research summary and accompaning poster which concluded in outlinging a product brief and performance factors. Throughout this process I planned tasks and conducted secondary and primary (potential user/expert interviews, questionnares) research.

Research summary poster

RESEARCH | Key Findings The Problem... Poor Mental Health

Being connected constantly decreases well-being levels. (WGSN 2017e)

11.7m days lost due to poor mental health (HSE 2017)

Lack of differentiation between home & work impacts well-being (Stevenson & Farmer 2017)

Freelancers more likely to experience poor mental health (Stevenson & Farmer 2017)

By 2020 40% of people will be working freelance (WGSN 2016a)

The Solution... A combination of mindfulness and sensorial wellness practices Key Trends: Mindfulness has been linked to significant improvements in wellbeing (Brown & Ryan 2003)

Senses play a large role in well-being, creating experiental gratfification. E.g. Aromatherapy (WGSN 2017e)

Mindfulness affects the amygdala (the controller of fightor-flight response), reducing stress reactions (Mindful 2017)

Psychology of the home: it being a persons sanctuary and a place to decompress is a biological need. (WGSN 2017d)

• Increase in prevelance of “distraction-less” consumer (WGSN 2017e)

Touch, senses and mindfulness are processed in opposite ways (Ogden, Minto & Pain 2006), they compliment each other. This combination interrupts inidividuals negative feedback loops (Stötter et al. 2013).

• Consumers striving to slow down their lifestyle pace (WGSN 2017f) • Resurgence in ‘hobby-like’ activities such as propogating plants (WGSN 2017f) • Homes becoming places of wellness and leisure (WGSN 2017d) • Demand for sensorial wellness to be incorporated into design is consumer driven (WGSN 2015a)

Katie, 20 Is a languages student in london, co-living in a rented house. She desperatly wants to personalise her space and make it feel more like home, but she isn’t allowed to make any permanent alterations. Like many girls her age, she is slightly addicted to social media; often finds that it affects her well-being constantly comparing her life to others. She recently decided to undertake a digital detox, finding happiness in simple things such as experimenting with tea, having long baths and lighting candles. She loves products that encompass nostalgia, and are retro. Things that make her miss home less. She likes to follow trends. Taking an interest in self-care, and growing up with an awareness of the importance of good well-being. Katie has a basic understanding of mindfulness, but doesn’t practice it. She finds herself unable to sit doing nothing without getting fidgety as she is very dedicated to her studying. Aspirations: • Wants to experience life’s luxuries such as spa experiences, in her home. • Has goals of a “instagram-able” room • Wishes to expand her current habits of leisure time spent enjoying simple pleasures, to include traditions/habits from other cultures. • Wants to find a way of dealing with the pressures of university life.


Interests/Hobbies: Travelling, reading, cooking, art, fashion, meeting friends for tea and coffee in independent shops.


Lock mechanism

Individual selects

The assembly

Aurora comes

Light turns on and

Handle allows the

prefered pattern.

is completed at

with a charging

rotates at 10rpm,

product to easily

home, allowing

dock, so the lamp

creating a relaxing

be moved.

the user to swap

can be moved


and change their

around a users

selected pattern.


Cross section

Detail of moving sections

To turn on, the user presses down on the lamp which transforms the shape.

The rotating shell projects patterns onto the surrounding area. This creates an atmosphere which differentiates work and personal time. Whilst the repetitive rotating motion induces a meditative state making users focus on the pattern, the present, rather than their worries.

AURORA A motion lamp which projects patterns onto its surroundings. Creating a distracting, mindful, stimulating interaction, preventing users from focusing on negative thought patterns. It allows users to step away from interuptions caused by being constantly connected by not relying on an app, instead encouraging a physical interaction which transforms the shape of the light to turn it on.

FINAL AESTHETIC MODEL Model made for degree show. 3D printed base, top, and internal stem. Laser cut patterned middle.


Client Brief

Design a postural support for an ageing midwifery workforce which is in-keeping with the increasingly popular de-medicalised birthing suit environment.




To consider an adaptable, postural support for midwives that is aesthetic and non-intrusive. It is hypothesised that a physical support that allows midwives to follow the woman as she moves would be most attractive to the midwives. Proposals must address ease of movement, differing postures and working heights, infection control, and birth room environment.



A midwife may be required to maintain a crouching, low kneeling or leaning position for longer than is comfortable; this is when there is a risk of acute or chronic work related injury. (provided in brief) It costs the NHS ÂŁ1.7 billion a year for sick leave, almost half of these absences are attributed to back paint (Boorman 2009)

The number of midwives in England aged 50 or over has doubled from 4057 in 2001 to 8169 in 2014. (provided in brief)

6,000 midwives injure their backs each year and 300 of them give up their career as a result (RCM, 1999) The Univeristy Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust reduced the number of maunal handling using a system of risk management and introducing electric beds and pressure relieving systems supporting a 31% reduction in reported manual handling incidents 200420015 (Royal College of Midwives) Midwifery is constantly evolving from hospital led care to community based delivery and with a change of settings comes new risks and challenges (Royal College of Midwives)

Julie (54 years old) Julie has worked as a midwife for her entire adult life, thriving off bringing new borns into the world and being able to be a part of such an intimate and usually happy experience. Working long shifts, and continually putting others needs before her own; Julie is no stranger to aches and pains. She often finds her back aching after a shift and finds it affects her abilities to treat her patients as she gets older. Ease of movement, and flexibility are key to Julie. She needs to be able to move with the woman giving birth, adapting to the woman’s needs whilst also staying within eye contact - the key to a midwife and woman’s special relationship.

ETHNOGRAPHY / USER INTERVIEWS As part of a team, we conducted interviews and observed our target users in the birth suite environement. During this process we followed correct ethical procedures. We were able to gain an understanding of the physicality involved in day-to-day life as a midwife, giving us insights unobtainable through secondary research. We documented this process, with the permission of the participants through photographs.


After the group work, the team split and individualy worked on seperate concepts whilst continualy keeping in contact with our client and adjusting the work according to their feedback.

• We tested heights to ensure the weight of the user was on their shins rather than adding pressure to their knees. • The seat was added so the user would sit upright therefore in the correct position to protect their lower back from strain.

• Getting on and off the support was an issue as the user had to get themselves over the slope first before kneeling comfortably. Sculpting the surface resolved this issue and made it more comfortable.

• There is a possibility of mis-use, sitting on the support backwards to perch whilst making notes

• The ‘neck’ was the right height and curved to fit the form of a females body, but was still restrictive. So we decided to re-shpe the form of the ‘neck’ to add more freedom to move whilst still discouraging twisting and incorrect positions

• We decided on an optimum height for the neck of the support, as making it flexible and sturdy was complex and increased surface area. Therefore, increading difficulty cleaning and infection control issues. It didn’t abide by infection control guidelines.

• This design was chosen by the client because of the feminine curves which are in-keeping with the birth centre’s environment. So it was important to us to keep it as a key feature of the design.

• We explored having a detachable seat, so users could decide if they wanted to be seated higher or lower. However, after speaking to our client we decided it should be a fixed seat due to parts going missing in the birth centre. As well as infection control issues and creating a single mould reducing surface area.

• The neck has a secondary use as a handle, as it can be lifted using this. Or it can be used to drag the support around, preventing the midwives from doing any unnecesary lifting

• A secondary handle can be found on the base of the support. We found that dragging it from this position was easier if the midwives were already low to the floor and only needed to adjust the positioning slightly.

USER TESTING Throughout the project we had constant communication with our client, which enabled us to arrange user testing with our models. Testing not only the ergonomics of the designs, but providing us with infomation about the frequent ways midwives and expecting mothers use products in an “any means necessary� way to achieve comfort. The feedback from our client and potential users was invaluable to the design process.



Product whilst not in use.

Product can be moved at both standing and low working heights, allowing ease of use and preventing strain.

A steady non-restrictive support for suturing (an intricate procedure)

The potential for a second seating position, so midwives can perch and make notes

Foot Plates Many women after birth cannot spread their legs wide enough for the suturing procedure and often put their weight on midwives knees. The foot plates give the indication to the women to place their feet on the product instead. Curvature The curvature of the neck of the product is to allow the female form to sit comfortably against it.

Kneeling area The length of this part of the product has been extended so the slope could be moved backwards to create more comfort, which was discussed in client meetings. The curvature has also been adapted to provide the most comfort for the user. It removes the pressure from the knees, often experienced during low level work, by transferring the weight onto the users shins and by providing cushioning.

Rear Handle The rear handle can be used to manover the product when already in a low position to prevent the user from straining. Mainly for use when only needing to switch the position slightly.

Railings A user can use the railings to help themselves adjust their position as they get on and off the product; another suggestion from the client.

Wear & Tear The product has been designed so it can withstand everyday wear and tear, for instance, kicking the product out the way (a possibility in such an unpredictable environment) without it tipping over or becoming damaged.

Front Base The base of the curved ‘neck’ is flat, to prevent tipping when a midwife places all her weight on the product.

A postural support designed specifically for the possibility of misuse.


The product is aimed at post natal suturing but allows for the flexibility to be used in other instances, due to its ambiguos form. It is rotationally moulded in a single mould for ease of cleaning and infection control. It is made from Polyurethane to provide cushioning, preventing pressure points.


RSA Competition Brief: Circular Futures Design a fast moving consumer good, based on the principles of circular design and economy.



70% of people fail to reapply sun cream every 2 hours as recommended

72% of people admitted that they had been sunburned in the previous year (2015 study)

(British Association of Dermatologists, Sun Awareness Week Survey 2016,

Risk of developing Melanoma (dedliest form of skin cancer) more than doubles in people with a history of sunburn

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK


Arriving at the beach, carrying bags full of toys, food and towels. Then setting up ‘camp’ (the area your family will sit on the beach)

Applying suncream before everyone rushes off to play in the sea and build sandcastles. A thought through process making sure to cover every part of exposed skin.

People often clean their hands with wet wipes to get rid of the leftover grease from applying suncream. Wet wipes are one of the main substances found as waste on beaches.

People enjoy themselves at the beach through many different activites.

However, many people lose track of time and before they know it, it has been hours since they last applied suncream.

By not applying suncream regularly, people run the risk of exposing their skin to harmful UV rays, causing their skin to burn. This can cause long term effects such as skin cancer.

The Clarke Family (David 39, Sarah 37, Ben 7, Sophie 4) They visit the beach on their summer holidays. Their visits involve long days running around the beach chasing after the frisbee their dog sandy has stolen, and then cooling down in the sea where the kids splash their dad with water. The long days on the beach mean their skin is exposed to the sun for a long time, and getting the kids to sit still long enough to put sun cream on is a difficult task. However, they often lose track of time and hours go by between reapplying suncream. The whole procedue of applying cream is a hassle, from low quality sun cream leaving you feeling greasy, and not knowing when you should reapply sun cream because its impossible to tell if it has washed off in the sea.


An intelligent bottle that knows when its empty using IR emitters and recievers. The manfacturer is alrted, via a wifi transmitter, to send a new bottle to the user. Circular economy: manufacturer sends user new bottle, user sends bottle back in same packaging to be refilled.


A photochromic bracelet which reacts and turns red when exposed to UV rays for prolonged periods. Apply sunscreen to yourself and bracelet, and allow the bracelet to remind you to reapply sunscreen (after prolonged exposure, sunscreen rubbing off due to friction or water) by it changing colour.

DUO PROTECT A smart sunscreen bottle with accompaning bracelet to remind you to re-apply, so that you never get caught out and get sunburned.


RSA Competition Brief: Wearing Intelligence Design a product based solution utilising advanced textiles to improve well-being.



Up to 1 third of the population may suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems (, the importance of sleep)

95% of people use some sort of electronic device at least a few nights a week during the hour before bed (

Sleep deprivation costs american companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity (, How sleep can help you be more productive at work)

Those with insomnia are 10x’s more likely to be diagnosed with depression (

Insights & trends matrix activity

Katie, 25

Is very concerned with her health, making time to include a fitness routine into her lifestyle as well as making sure she puts herself first by practising self care methods.She enjoys yoga, and often practises mindfulness when she can fit it into her schedule. However, recently she has realised that she was missing a good sleep routine. Working long hours at the a gallery in Manchester, she finds she is often tired which makes her less productive. She tracks her sleep using an app but finds it isn’t enough.

Sam, 31 Is a workaholic. He works a 9-5 and then in his spare time works on a new buisness idea with the rest of his team, currently trying to raise money on kickstarter. Work is his first priority, but he struggles to switch off in the evenings causing him to take a long time to fall asleep whilst he worries about the emails sat in his inbox. He often finds himself staring at his phone screen hours after he decided to go to bed. Sam enjoys routine, but he struggles to stick to it.

THE SOLUTION Practise ‘sleep hygiene’ habits identified by researchers:

Turn your bedroom into a sleep inducing environment

Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine

Don’t be a nightime clock watcher

Achievable through classical conditional

Keep your internal clock set with a consistent sleep schedule (


BENCHMARKING Sense (with voice)

Beddit 3 Tracker


Withings Aura (with sleep sensor accessory)

Alarm Clock

Monitoring strip placed under user’s mattress to track sleep

Clips to pillow and tracks user’s sleepusing an accelerometer

Light, alarm and speaker. Monitors environment whilst you sleep

Sleep Sensor Accessory Tracks user’s sleep


Monitors environment whilst user sleeps Features: Includes app Smart alarm (wakes you at lightest sleep closest to alarm set) Sleep sounds (ambient sounds to help the user fall and to stay asleep) Voice commands

Features: Includes app Smart Alarm (wake up user during light sleep) Bluetooth Data Transfer Automatic tracking (starts when user gets into bed, stops when user gets out of bed) Adjusts environment for optimum sleeping

Features: Contact free sleep sensor placed under mattress which monitors sleep Alarm clock Speaker Light for simulated sunrise Smart alarm Connects to heating (to adjust temperature throughout the night)

Extra Monitoring Features:

Extra Monitoring Features:

Extra Monitoring Features:

CO2 Air Quality






Heart Rate


z z z




Helping users create a sleep environment which encourages sleep hygiene practises

Monitoring Mattress Sleep Aid Device

Possibility of connecting to other wifi able ‘smart’ devices

App for Personalisation

Relax & Fall Asleep

During Sleep

(30 minutes before set time)



Wake Up & Feel Energised

(in lightest sleep, closest to alarm) Light

Dims 30 minutes before set sleep time



Gradually get brighter 30 minutes before set alarm

Mimicks a sunrise to encourage the user’s internal body clock to regulate the circadian rhythm

Mimicks a sunset to encourage the user’s internal body clock to regulate the circadian rhythm to wake up.

Temperature & Regulates at optimum 60-67°F






(without lyrics) May improve memory & brain power


White Noise

Pink Noise

all frequencie consistent which drowns out frequency other noises


some people experience a relaxing ‘tingling’ sensation

Volatile Organic compounds


Air Quality

Heart Rate


z z z




(without lyrics) May improve memory & brain power



Closest light sleep to users pre-set alarm

Thank you

for taking the time to look at my portfolio

07544 323473 Emma McNally emmamcnallydesign

Emma McNally |Design Research Portfolio | Industrial Product Design 2018  

Here you can find my design research portfolio, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me:

Emma McNally |Design Research Portfolio | Industrial Product Design 2018  

Here you can find my design research portfolio, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me: