I'm Andrew Sims, Principal Product Designer based in London, UK.

I'm currently at Simply Business, working to reshape how small businesses think about and use insurance.

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"You know the future is really happening when you start feeling scared"
— Douglas Coupland

Making what's next comes with unexpected twists and turns. In new territories, design transforms ambiguity into vision.

Design can change the world

Design is more than just a visual veneer. Design shapes science, technology, business and culture into human experiences. Design is the application of processes and tools, creativity, and understanding to solve genuine human needs.

Great design can make life better, meaning clearer, and action effortless. When applied with technology, design can transform daily activities or entire industries.

Design is

An Agent for Change

Design is a voice for what's possible, crystallising opportunity and creativity into vision and purpose. Design prioritises solving problems and puts people first.

Design is

A Business Partner

Design keeps businesses competitive and relevant to customers. Design brings deliberateness, clarity and shapes intentions. Design is a differentiator and builds trusting customer relationships.

Design is

A Consistent Companion

When customer experiences are atomised across mediums, interfaces and devices, design offers continuity. Design also bridges specialisms and silos to help organisations work better as a system.

Design is

A New Way Forward

The pace of change has increased so much that change is now the norm. Design finds new paths — it makes innovation tangible. Design redefines challenges and exposes opportunity in crisis.

Change is constant

Digital products are moving away from fixed visual interfaces and into flexible, changing ecosystems of services - physical, social, conversational, spacial, predictive - that each person will experience slightly differently.

In this environment of scattered experiences, design is the unifying voice that creates a sense of coherence and continuity.

This means that design must adapt and grow too. Design mustn’t be a compartmentalised process, it’s a living part of a business.

Innovation is not a luxury

Innovative products and communications aren’t a luxury, they are crucial to standing out in the crowded digital landscape.

Customers are never more than a tap away from competitors. Design means constantly evaluating, iterating and evolving products to keep competitors at bay, drive growth, and keep customers engaged.

Technology is for humans

Laurie Anderson said “technology is the camp-fire around which we tell our stories.” Our technologies are for enabling us and extending the range of essential human behaviours: community, collaboration, communication.

When creating products, it's all too easy to get carried away focusing on features and details — rather than the people we're building them for.

Good design starts from cutomer needs, and we need to keep those needs at the centre of what we do.

Moments matter

Customer decision-making doesn’t unfold like a game of Pac-Man. There are many steps that play a role in the journeys customers take through our products.

Looking at the whole customer journey we can see which steps make the most difference, or have the greatest potential for impact.

By looking at how customer needs and feelings change from step-to-step, we can make those keystone moments more effective.

Moments that

Deliver Value

Pivotal customer steps that could impact conversions, sales, loyalty or extend lifetime value.

Moments that

Are Human

Opportunities to show empathy with customers to deepen trust, build relationships and create emotional resonance.

Moments that

Reduce Costs

Experiences that can reduce complexity, streamline expensive back-office processes or cut demand on support staff.

Moments that

Stand Out

Moments that are memorable, that deliver unexpected value and make products desirable and delightful.

Design is based on evidence

Innovation is rooted in insight. Revelations about the marketplace, technology trends and customer’s needs allow us to create better products.

Engaging with real customers at all levels reveals emergent patterns, challenges, painpoints, and opportunities that can be addressed by innovation.

Research, combined with creativity and intuition, identifies new opportunities and creates pathways to deliver them.

Evidence from

State-of-play Research

Reveals the current competitive marketplace a product needs to compete in. Establishes norms, expectations and criteria needed to stand out.

Evidence from

Generative Research

Generates ideas through participation, engaging stakeholders and real customers. It also brings a wider view — such as looking for analogies and parallels in other sectors.

Evidence from

Formative Research

Establishes what needs to be built and how it will succeed using tangible prototypes to probe and refine ideas. Emphasis on experimentation, reinterpretation and learning.

Evidence from

Evaluative Research

Increases confidence in which routes to market offer greater opportunity by identifying approaches, features and touch-points that customers most value.

"A prototype is worth a thousand meetings"
— Unattributed

Vision and research is essential for innovation, but it's all pointless if you have nothing to show for it.

Design outcomes, not outputs

Outcomes are the customer actions and behaviours that drive business value. Design works best when it's tasked with accomplishing outcomes, such as creating behaviour change, rather than delivering outputs, such as a design for a specific feature.

Thinking about outcomes keeps us focused on delivering real business value, while remaining open to different solutions and mediums - whichever answers that need most effectively. Outputs presume a solution and prescribe the medium that delivers it.

Considering outcomes, designers can keep an open mind, discover inspiration in unexpected places and find solutions beyond the interface, in brand, strategy, process and more.

Past work

Funding Circle Global Navigation

Create a unified design approach for navigation across Funding Circle’s international websites and web apps, as well as sub-brands and secondary sites. Accommodating three different languages and eight information architectures, optimising for task performance and content discoverability.

Catalogue existing navigation designs and collect data on their use. Establish navigation design goals and KPIs. Explore a range of navigation patterns, prototyping and testing to iterate designs. Design documentation and collaboration with engineers to create new front end components.

A single, reusable, mobile-first navigation pattern used globally across logged out and logged in experiences that reduced time to complete navigation tasks by an average of 5 seconds.

Funding Circle Quote Comparison

Make loan configuration more tangible and relateable to offer greater simplicity, relevance and transparency on costs. Create a memorable moment of utility and convenience.

Customer research and journey mapping to uncover behaviours, needs, goals and mental models. Creation of a 100 page customer acquisition pack with recommendations and considerations that informed this work as well as other teams working on sales and onboarding. Exploration of interaction designs to physicalise customisation and encourage experimentation, refined through prototyping and testing. Phased rollout of new interactions in collaboration with engineers.

A new signature interaction pattern that can be reconfigured to serve different stages of the customer journey. 10% increase in end-to-end conversion, and a 15% increase in click-through at this stage in the onboarding process.

Funding Circle Journey UI Framework

Unify Funding Circle's experience design used throughout the borrower lifecycle to make experiences more effective, relevant and personal.

Envison new experiences that leverage data, personalisation and feedback across desktop and mobile web apps. Create a shared vision through storyboards and prototypes. Consolidation of divergent approaches into single web framework in collaboration with engineers, baking in accessibility and mobile-first responsive patterns as first principles.

Rollout of new design language and interactions started as part of global rebrand that increased end-to-end conversion by 32%. A shared library of mobile-first components suitable for use cases across the customer lifecycle reduced time to launch new experiences from weeks to days.

Funding Circle Payments Administration

Create a new workflow and interface for payment administrators to reduce manual processes and track case management.

Shadowing of payment admins to understand mental models, tasks, processes and tools. Articulation of opportunities and principles to establish the purpose and value of interfaces within the app. Journey and workflow mapping to articulate current and proposed processes. Design of modular UI/UX framework tailored to high-volume financial transaction management.

Limited release pilot to a small team run in parallel with existing system to test and iterate. The pilot group saved 1.5 hours of work per user per day compared to the control group, with 90% of transactions automatically reconciled.

More work

What I do

Places I've worked

More work and thoughts

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