Cover Letters

Here are a few of the cover letters I completed and sent when applying to placement roles. For some roles I had to simply send an email or fill in an automated form with reasons as to why I wanted to work there so I will include the ones that I can but I won’t be able to show them all.

My cover letters are consistent with my branding and brand identity.

I did a lot of research into each interview prior to applying to better adjust my Cover letter to them. I compiled my research in a separate blog post. Click here to see it.

My cover letters

Email cover letters

  • ESO

  • Little Thunder


*** I did not include all cover letters as it would get repetitive 🙂 ***

IXD302 Submission Links

*** So I decided to put all my research and organize it in a post to make it easier to navigate and mark it – I hope that helps 🙂 ***


1- CV and cover letter

Research and discovery


2- Investor pitch

Research and discovery

3- Proposal and invoice

Research and discovery

Website update part 2

After learning so much about accessibility and how to design with a user centered approach I decided to make some changes not only to the layout of my website but also to the colour scheme I use not only for my branding but also for my website. Adobe colors was a great resource for researching typography contrast and colour combinations.

The colours while lovely did not have a high enough contrast so I made a few adjustments to ensure everyone who would use my website could use it to its fullest.

I then started considering these colour changes and took a look at my previous designs; it previous looked like this after working on it for a few days:

Now I realize that the pink not only clashes with my illustrations skin colour but as a way of highlighting text, it does not fully work as it is not dark enough. The contrast ratio is too low.

To make this section easier to view I removed the colour for the background; I think this made a big difference in the presentation of my illustrations, making my illustrations stand out more.

I also tried to add the social icons to link my socials but I could still not figure out how to align them to the center – so I asked Kyle.


Here are some snapshots of the changes I implemented to my website to improve it:

I removed the block colours to separate the sections and instead stuck to white – I think that overall this looks and works better.

I tried removing the background colour for my intro section of my home page and I believe that it really improved its ease for viewing.


After Kyle helped me understand my issues with my navigation bar (It was no longer sticky) I was able to fix it. I really needed the navigation bar to be sticky as I had shown my website to some older family members both here and in Venezuela to see if the general layout of my site was easy enough for them to understand and navigate. I also sent the link out to other friends on Instagram (some who only speak Spanish) to see how accessible my site was – I sent it to my Spanish speaking friends to see if even with a language barrier the set up was straight forward enough to lead them through my website.

One of the things I learnt by doing this is that less is more and that consistency is my friend. The colour changes were also preferred as it made it easier for all who viewed it (They were all of varies ages, abilities and backgrounds) yet aside from aesthetic preferences, there was a general agreement that the higher contrast was the preferred version of the website.

As part of my IXD302 class Ronan McKinless came in to give us some information on applying to placements and how to make the most out of our time in placement. I reached out and sent him a link to my portfolio and he was kind enough to offer me some feedback.

I will be taking this on board and hopefully making the changes as soon as possible.

What I learnt the most through this process is that feedback is vital. Be it by peers, friends and even better yet more experienced designers. I also learnt to consider the user throughout the process.

Invoice design

So as part of our personal branding and for the design proposal we had to design an invoice template. I was not sure what to add so I started off by doing some research to know what I should add.

I found this website to be very helpful when researching invoices. I also found this blog post by William Simpson to be super helpful also.

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a document that you send to your client after they purchase goods or services from you, both as a means of recording the sale and of requesting payment from them.

Specifically, an invoice declares in writing what exactly the client purchased, when they purchased it, in what quantity and at what price.

What is their purpose?

They create a binding agreement between you and your customer that obliges the customer to pay the agreed price. As a result, invoices can be used when taking more formal actions, especially in the case of overdue or missing payments.

That’s because, in addition to stating the total amount to be paid by your customer, invoices also identify the payment terms, including when the payment must be made by and what, if any, the potential penalties are for late payments.

How to make a good design invoice

The invoice should look clean and it should be easy to read. It shouldn’t overwhelm the client with too much information but should include everything that’s important for your records and for them to understand your charges. When you’re creating the invoice, pay attention to the layout and consider how you’re going to bill for your work.

Your business logo, address, and other information they might need such as your phone number or email address ,must be included. Include your website if applicable. You’ll want to include your client’s name and information, an invoice number, and the date of the invoice. You’ll also want the invoice total to be in an easy to spot location.

Layout for a Design Invoice

  • Logo and information at the top, where it’s easy for the client to see.
  • Client name – middle
  • Date of the invoice – middle
  • Other important information. – middle
  • Break down the project and the costs.
  • Break down your project into subcategories that make sense for the project and include descriptions as needed.
  • Provide the cost based on how you’re billing the client and the total price for each section of the project.
  • At the bottom of the invoice, total the services, include any tax as necessary, subtract any amount they’ve already paid, and show the final amount they owe for your services.

How to Bill for Design Projects

You’re generally going to choose based on a set fee for each part of the project or hourly for the amount of time you spend on each part of the project. If you’re planning on charging clients set fees for various parts of the projects you work on, break down the invoice into those parts and write the cost for each one, then add them together to get the total. If you’re planning on charging an hourly price, write down which part of the project you worked on, the number of hours you spent on it, your hourly rate, and the total cost for each part of the project.

Your invoice reflects your business and should look fantastic yet be easy for you to fill out when needed and provide to your clients. 

Visual research

I started by doing some visual research. Here is a link to see it.

Here are some of my favourite ones:

I really like the simplicity of these 2 designs, it includes colour and personality without taking away from the important information.

I really like the colour scheme of the Invoice above especially because it is similar to my own colour scheme. The writing size is a big too small though – it is a bit hard to read.

I really like how they used blocks of colour to create a sort of structure to the information.

Here is a link to my Figma design file.

My Invoice

Emily Ussher Invoice pdf

I had a lot of fun making the invoice and I am pleased with how simple I was able to make it. I do think that as time goes on and I mature as a designer this aspect of my brand will also mature.

IXD301 – Critique and elements overview

As designers we have to understand problems so we can try to solve them.

The brief: to design and create a digital product to explain the elements from the periodic table. the content is scientific to be used in the scientific profession. Nevertheless what about children or undergraduate students. Is the content aiding or confusing their understanding …

this project will ask you to look at the content of the periodic table from the micro packets of information in each cell.

In some type of device … but which? This is your choice eg TV, VR, Tablet, phone, smartphone.

Eg kids expect things to be touchscreen and they work best with iPads.

Do a competitor analysis, look at other apps that do similar things and do user stories and jobs to better understand your audience.

Think outside the box – is it a VR experience you  can walk into.

Project requirements:

  1. A branded homepage containing your version of the periodic table
  2. At least 5 additional elements pages aimed at 10 year old audience and bellow OR
  3. At least 5 elements pages aimed at undergraduate chemistry student
  4. A style guide, visual grammar and brand

To proceed:

  1. Design first
  2. Start on paper
  3. sketch/figma/Invision
  4. Final product Adove XD/Figma/Invision
  5. Also consider the visual grammar …

Think typical UX workflow

  1. discover
  2. plan
  3. text design
  4. sketch
  5. visual design
  6. prototype/build
  7. test
  8. discuss
  9. deliver but keep learning

Previous students

  • Antechamber – he created a website for this also. He interviewed undergraduate chemistry students. Visually very interesting. Visually very strong but kept it safe
  • Dan Gold – impressive from coding point of view. Visually nice and technically proficient. He focused on undergraduate students
  • Sarah Couples – Deadly elements. Used Beano style. For kids. Showed how elements are created and broke down the science of it. Showed how they could be combines to create an element. Looked at elements that could kill DR Bob – the avatar – and added the info next to the illustration.
  • Science lab The element. used nice call to action (Lets learn). For children.
  • Hope McCilroy – 118 elements street. Made it as a house. You can navigate through the house and can find diff things that represent elements in the periodic table. Science discover. Kids had to search and find things. Very nice and interactive. Looked at the products first then matched the elements to them.
  • Jemma Ferguson – Metal monster.
  • Detective Dimitri – Alex McCormick. She took a very different and cool approach. No mention of the periodic table yet subtle hints.
  • Scott McKee – undergraduate VR project were you could take a picture of anything in real life and it would tell you what it is made of.

Things to consider

  • Group
  • appearance
  • uses
  • Discover date
  • Discovered by

Why it is important to think of the audience:

  • managing disparate range of content
  • Organizing content into logical structure
  • Presenting content coherently
  • target content to specific audiences


A method for groping and organizing content.

eg Tiny books website

You must organize your content!!! both for this and for your portfolio website.


  • interview students eg undergraduate
  • questioners
  • Make it a trip around a chemistry lab

Making my website

I decided to use Webflow instead of coding it myself due to time constraints so I also kept notes of links so I would be able to organize my site correctly.

I had tried to make a mock-up of my website in Figma but truthfully I was inpatient and instead jumped right into Webflow – looking back I regret this as I would have been able to avoid some silly design decisions and saved myself time and effort if I had put in the work and made the mockups.

I realized early on that Webflow was a lot easier than having to do it yourself. It look a bit of learning and for that Webflow University and some YouTube videos were a great help in informing my process and teaching me how to more efficiently use the software.

During my 1st year I had purchased my domain name; this is something I am very glad I did as it fit in so much better into my CV than some random Webflow URL – it did however take me a very long time to figure out how to connect my website to my URL; cue in customer support for Webflow and Ionos (my domain provider).

I kept the home page simple and clean. I was however struggling with the layout options and alignments. It took a lot of tweaking but eventually I got it there. I made the navigation bar sticky as I thought it would make it easier to navigate the page. I also decided to add a ‘Hire me’ button to the menu bar that when clicked opens up my CV – I figured this would make me stand out?

I also added the illustration of myself as part of my introduction section of my home page as I thought it would bring across my playful and artistic personality as well as showcasing my skills.

I am having trouble fixing the blending of the button outline and the footer background colour. I do think that while the footer works it might be too simple and not informative enough.

I quickly realized that trial and error was my friend here as that is when I learnt the most.

I think it is really down to refining my ideas at this point and continuing to process.

Peer feedback, evaluation and improvements

After having a peer feedback session on my website mockups it became clear to me that I had created an incredibly busy and overcrowded website. Here are some notes on the feedback I received:

The biggest issue people had was my spacing and in retrospective I agreed, it was way too busy and the background clashed with the information, it made it hard to see and distinguish. Also the background drew focus away from the main purpose of the website which was to promote my work.

I then broke down the comments given to me and seriously considered them and came up with a few solutions. I first decided to go back to my mockups to see what I could do to maybe salvage the design or if I could create something out of my previous idea before completely scrapping it.

I made some notes on possible adjustments and then created a quick paper mockup of what each slide would look like on a phone and concluded that it indeed was just too much information and general business to give to a user.

I then came up with another idea but ultimately decided to not pursue it and instead I tried to create a design that would be simple, uncomplicated and easy to follow.

I ultimately decided to go back to basics and improve the design of my year 1 website – here is how it went:


This idea quickly developed and proved to be a better option than my previous one. I wanted to further explore it before going with it so I made more wireframes and kept trying to figure out how to make my website an enjoyable experience.

Narrative design

I started off by thinking of how different brands market their products, even if they are owned by the same company, eg how BMW put out a high end, expensive idea but MINI put out a cute and fun one, even though they are owned by the same people.

Webpages can be simple one page websites where you move down, or you can have a multi-screen one where you move from screen to screen.

Considering my websites story

  • Start – Home page
  • Middle – Case studies
  • End – Contact

Inspiration for narrative outside of design

Films: Think of the narrative in films and how they flow. The pace – when is it quick? Are there pause? If so then why? Sometimes when its quick they will excite you and capture the audiences attention.

In the home page – that’s where I NEED to capture the audiences attention – I need to consider it the fast paced and exciting section (if this was a film that is what it would be). Then in the Middle (Case studies) it slows down to allow consideration and perusal.

The hierarchy sound be:

  • Critical info
  • Background and context
  • Nice to have


Here are some websites that showcased these principles extremely well:

Sketching out some ideas

Now I promise there is a method to my madness, so stay with me.

So I started by jotting down some of the characteristics I wanted my website to have – like a static navigation bar to make it easier to navigate the site at all times and reduce confusion. I also wanted to make its background clear so it would not clash with the main websites colour.

I also wanted to have some of my main titles overlaying the ends of the edge of the background colour box – I thought it would give it a nice and playful look. This is something that was inspired by my previous research.

I started playing around with colour to try and figure out how to best incorporate my colour scheme. I also wanted to use some aspects of my logo to try and have it create a pattern of sorts; I thought it might be kind of interesting. I decided to stick to the colour scheme I landed upon last year after creating my brand (Shown below).

I experimented with watercolours (It’s what I had handy) to see how the gradient idea would work out for my background before comitting to it. I also made some quick sketches of what the logo being deconstructed to create the pattern for the background could look like. I thought it was cool so I decided to try it at a larger scale.

I wanted to get a quick preview so I made a simple sketch on a sticky note. I thought it worked so I decided to further develop it but in paper.

While the picture bellow shows a very crude idea of what the background could look like it was an incredible insight – normally I jump straight into the computer but having to take a step back and draw it and fix it and change it forced me to explore different avenues – starting on paper works!

I then created a quick mock-up of the background using a mixture of Figma and Procreate – I did eventually place it in my sketchbook also but here is the digital version:

I then decided to go into Figma to create some quick mock ups for the peer feedback session to be had in the next IXD301 class.

I started off by creating my components – I decided to create soft, friendly and inviting buttons:

Here is my Figma file

Website Group Critique

Here is a link to the Miro board.

In all honesty I was a bit sad about the lack of comments but Daniel was very helpful, he suggested I change the profile image from a rectangle to possibly a circle as it would help keep the flow of the website constant and uninterrupted. He suggested I change the business card – which I will do. It was helpful to see my peers websites and personal brands as it helped me gauge where I am and where I need to be.

I made an animation using Procreate to use as my loading symbol

Click here to see them in action.

Group Critique

I made some slides in preparation for my group critique

group crit

After the group critique I decided to make a few changes to not only my colour scheme but I also decided to make a new illustration to represent myself.

I used Adobe color to create my colour scheme.

I developed my illustration using procreate, here is my progress:

This is my final illustration for my brand.

I am quite pleased with the outcome and I feel as though it will add a fun and friendly aesthetic.