ixd301 week 01 reflection and tasks

Week 01

  • Content design
  • Content audit
  • Site map your site
  • Research and Discovery

Preparing for Placement

Check job fairs October 12-14 for virtual events.

Places to find/hear about placement opportunities

  • Handshake
  • Linkedin
  • Slack

Research the size (no. of employees), structure of company (departments/divisions), location/s, news items, awards/quality, etc.

Really look at the job descriptions. What about your passions, attention to detail and initiative?

Always read job specs – they may not know they are looking for a UX designer.

Strong storytelling skills, sketching, problem solving skills, showing process.

Belfast Design Week (November)

Questions to think about: Tell me about yourself. When did you overcome failure? What motivates you? Biggest achievement? Biggest challenge in industry? What website/app grabs your attention?

Article that might be helpful – ‘How to Contact a Design Agency.’

Try to cover everything and be prepared as much as you can. Identify the skills being asked for.

What is Content?

Content: text, animation, chat, image, username, comments from other people, profile picture icons, like, share, time stamp, date stamp.

Thinking of design at a granular level and accounting for these elements.


Book Recommendation: Content Design – Sarah Richards

  • Push vs Pull Content
  • Trust
  • Ease of use

Push v Pull of content: Push is ‘look at this!’ The website is there. The effort to find it is minimal, like a bus stop advert. ‘Pull’ means you will look for it.

Ease of use: happy functionality website. If it’s difficult to use, UX designers are unimpressed. An example: booking a driving test through gov.uk was the cheapest option but people were prepared to pay more as they didn’t want to use a clunky website. So, care about your audience. The bad experiences will be remembered. Think about content presentation and clarity.

Brief – Portfolio Site and Content Strategy

Create a new portfolio site.

Information Architecture – use of Hierarchy

CV – will work on this in IXD302

Consider layout

Show process and relative information. Not always about the final outcome. Reflection of project is important. Remember people just want to see your work.

Consistency of Case Studies – layout the same, different content.

Most important things to include:

  • Your work
  • Contact details
  • What/Who you are? (role)
  • Your name


Discover, Plan and Text Design this week.

Sketch often and discuss.

Visual design – colour, text, typeface, look and feel call to action

Build and test

Discuss – show other people your ideas and designs. Useful feedback helps.

Week 03 – Critique on visual mock-ups.

Week 04-06 – Building of Portfolio site.

Week 07- Critique and discussion

Discovery is very important, find other designers, how they write, process, design, layout.

Case Studies – focus on these, they are key!

what to include

  • The problem
  • Who you worked with?
  • Tools you used
  • Discovery phases
  • Processes (wireframes, personas, user journeys)
  • Final outcome

NOTE – If you can’t solve your problem, write it up too, its valuable to your process.

Create a content inventory (audit) – go to website and list all the nice elements.



Found this session usual for the first week, helps with understanding the module content before we actually start the content. Working towards my portfolio site and working towards placement.



This week’s tasks

  • Content Audit
  • Look at what heroes are doing (Look at other portfolios for inspiration)
  • Research and Discovery – Google Trends etc
  • Site Map your site
  • Start to write your content for your website
    • Three case studies
    • Home page (These are the most important)
    • About Page
    • Contact Page

Content Audit


Sitemap your site

When you have your content audit, you can figure out the pages you need and where to keep that.

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Contact
  • Work? Portfolio? (Consider language)
  • Link to your blog


Google Trends

Below are some of the terms and job roles that I checked against google trends. I noticed most spiked in search during 2019 and 2021. Most have a steady incline in the past 5 years.

Comparing Trends

Below are some terms I compared against each other to see which terms are more recognised than others.

  1. ui desginer vs ux designer
  2. ui designer vs app designer
  3. graphic designer vs ui designer

The third comparison I found the most interesting with the average interest search for ‘graphic designer’ being 63, and the average interest search for ‘ui designer’ being 5. Knowing this, this could effect results when looking for job specifics when looking for a job or placement in UI, compared to looking into graphic design. I feel like graphic designer is a more broader job term than UI designer, which could be why UI is the lesser average.


Portfolio Inspiration


Elizabeth Lin

I lover her layout and her use of colour blocks. I like that her nav is vertical not horizontal. When you hoover over her image the cursor turns into a little irncess crown which I think is a nice personal touch to her site.



Moritz Oesterlau

I love his ‘let’s work together’ and think I will incorporate that into my site language. The highlighter effect makes is text stand out. Very simple but modern site.


Zara Drei

I love her use of colour and shapes, makes her site dun to look and interact with. I really like her case studies and how she has laid out her images.


Site Content

Landing page


Leonie Smyth

Interaction Designer based in Northern Ireland

Currently looking for placement for 2022


About, portfolio, contact



Hi, my name is Leonie, I’m a current student at IXDBelfast.

I have a love for art in many forms; sketching, print, abstract painting, digital/graphic art. I just love to constantly try new things… which lead me to my interest in design! I want to continue my focus in the areas of app design and branding.

When I’m not designing, I like to analyse film plots and settings. I also love to indulge in different documentaries to constantly broaden my knowledge and further my creativity. One thing that always keeps me motivated is my dogs, with always having their happy energy around me.





Find me on





Case studies

*Insert photo of finished screen*

Space Buddy Study

App Design

Button – Read Case Study – link to specific case study page


*Insert image of finished pizza box design*

Big Dog’s Pizzeria


Button – Read Case Study – link to specific case study page


Case Study One

Space Buddy Study


For this project the brief was to create app screens for a travel app. For this I wanted to create an app that would both be fun but useful for the consumer.


*Insert images of moodboards and mind maps *

For any project, research is key. I started looking at what’s currently on the market within the three ideas I came up with. Once I got a sense of what was out there, I decided to go to with the idea of creating a educational app that was interactive and simple to use aimed for a primary school age audience. To further my research, I considered what was missing from apps I looked at previous. Things that came up were too much information, not enough illustrative content. Difficulty keeping interest. To combat this in my own design I made a list of goals I wanted to achieve with my design.


Project Goals

  • fun and simple to navigate
  • Good balance of illustrative content and written content
  • Educational and interactive for a young audience


Illustrative Content

*Insert images of sketches- planets, ships, and aliens*

As this project was illustrative based, I made a point of working on paper first to get done some simple sketches for different elements for the app. I decided to have three sets of icons

  1. Planets
  2. Spaceships
  3. Alien Buddies

Each of these I sketched, refined, and coloured to later scan and digitise. I tried to keep these sketches as simple as possible whilst still maintaining a level of detail. I was inspired by retro cartoons and games such as space invaders zim, the great gazoo, and the jetsons. During this process I faced some difficulties with balancing the simplicity element with details. I found adding a crescent of shading helped add to the design to make it less flat, then worked on adding identifiable marks to the planets.


*Insert scans of sketches*


Screen Layouts

Moving forward it was time to consider how I was going to layout my content. I started this by sketching out some ideas before digitizing them. Things I wanted to achieve with this,

  1. Easily read
  2. Easily navigated
  3. Aesthetically pleasing

I think I achieved this throughout my sketches, I feel like the simplistic design of my previous icons helped this part as they didn’t make the layouts look like there was too much going on. I also stayed simple with any background detail to again keep the screens easily read and navigated.


*Insert scans of sketches*


Final Screens

*Insert high-res mock-ups*

From this project I have learned the importance of how a user would view this app and how important design is within useability. Going forward I am more aware of creating content for others and the process that goes into it.


Case Study Two

Big Dog’s Pizzeria


Design a brand for a pizzeria to summarize learnt skills in branding and identity design. The challenge is to create the brand within a week. Create a minimum of 3 pages to include:

  1. logo (wordmark and symbol) and bio/story/description
  2. physical touchpoint
  3. digital touchpoint


For this project I started by benchmarking competitors, and other brands that my desired user base will use or relate to. I looked into four different companies both national and local.



  • Dominos
  • Pizza Hut
  • Pizza Express


  • Fire and Stone

When researching these companies, I wanted to look at different aspects of their brand, their tone of voice, story, values brand bank of words etc. Once I researched this, I logged them onto a blog post on my CampusPress Blog, so I can refer to it when creating the starting elements for the pizzeria brand.

You can view the research blog post here – https://blogs.ulster.ac.uk/leoniesmyth/2021/03/01/ixd103-week-05-the-big-dog-pizzeria/


Visual Research

Below are the visual boards looking into the brands I research above. Visually looking at logos, wordmarks, branding online and physical.

*Insert visual mood boards*



After researching into different businesses, I have decided to create my own pizzeria rather that rebrand an existing one. The reasoning for this is because I think I would have more creative control, and it would be more engaging for me to produce.

Idea Generation

  1. Italian Homestyle Pizzeria

Based on the very homely Italian feel. Always welcomed and never leaving hungry. A very go to idea when thinking of a pizza place but would definitely work off of charm and high quality ingredients and exquisite taste. Target Audience for all ages but more styled to an older audience

  1. The Big Dog Pizzeria

Based around all things pooches. This idea fully comes from my personal love for dogs. A quirky and different idea. Can play off puns like ‘pupperoni’ and ‘barking hot’. Would be a very diverse target audience, for all ages, fun and friendly concept.

  1. Pablo’s Pizzeria

Sounds generic but with a twist. Based on Pablo Escobar’s life and drug trade. An obvious target audience of a much older group. Can play off different menu items like ‘Class A Pizza’ ‘Class B Pizza’. Use slang for snacks like ‘Munchies’.


I am going to go for idea two as it is my favourite out of the three and I feel like I can do so much with it especially with its target audience being for all ages. I feel like this idea might be a bit gimmicky rather than practical, but I wanted my final decision to be different and a little quirky which I think this idea suits. With this I also want to drive in the family-owned aspect and how they want to help dogs as well. Maybe with dog rehoming leaflet attached to each pizza box, or maybe a certain amount from the specials is donated to the dog’s trust.

Creating a Brand

Tone of Voice







Brand Dictionary

Shops/restaurants – pizzeria


Our dogs – long term staff

Our pups – trainees

Employee of the month – Top dog of the month

Trainee of the week – top pup of the week

Idea is to make the working environment as fun, uplifting and encouraging as possible.


Brand Bank of Words

Barking Hot







The Big Dog Pizzeria is a family run business with the love for everything and anything dog! Our passion is to deliver delicious pizza with an unforgettable twist. Creating an unique experience for everyone who orders, we know you won’t leave with your tail between your legs. Each pizza and treat are named after a cute companion or feisty furball. From classics such as ‘Pupperoni’ and ‘Mutt Lover’ to our unique loaded ‘Frenchie’ fries. To top it all off, 10% of the proceeds of purchases goes in donation to the Dogs Trust. Order today through our app and receive 20% off on your first barking order.


Choosing a Typeface

For my type I want it to be kind of edgy and almost look like a stencil with negative space in it. As I’ve already created my symbol of the brand, I know by the design I wanted my text to arch over and around the symbol. Which would help bring the whole symbol together and the text as one.

I choose the typeface – Post No Bills Jaffna Medium


*Insert images of chosen typeface*


Making the Logo

*Insert Screen shot process*

Adding Colour

*Insert Screen shot of Colour version*

Adding Type

*Insert Screen shot of Type added*


Touchpoint Mock-ups

Physical Touchpoint

Pizza Box Mock-up

*Insert screenshot of physical touchpoint*

Digital Touchpoint

App Mock-up

*Insert screenshot of digital touchpoint*



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