Hi, I'm James

I design experiences to elevate people, usually through the medium of software.
he/him  ▪  York, UK

My superpowers

I recently was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. As much as they can make life slightly more difficult, I see them as superpowers to enable me to do more.
In this bit I wanted to outline how each of these affect me, but also how I think they make me a better designer, and the coping mechanisms I have employed to make the most of these.



  • I can find it hard to start tasks (especially if they aren’t interesting!)
  • I can be super forgetful with my short term memory, or things or people that aren’t right in front of me
  • I can take criticism quite harshly
  • My brain can be just very ‘full’ or ‘foggy’ at points
  • I can sometimes find it hard to convey points


  • I can hyperfixate if I find something interesting, meaning I can become a wealth of knowledge
  • I can remember random things from ages ago that might be relevant that others might have forgotten
  • I can spot things super quickly that others might miss
  • I feel like I am more creative as I can be thinking of multiple solutions at once!

Coping mechanisms

  • Lots and lots of lists, and heavy use of the reminders app
  • Planning in every activity in my calendar
  • Notion!
  • Telling others about it, and asking them to be more lenient



  • I can be very hesitant to change
  • I can find it hard to communicate immediately in the moment
  • I can sometimes find it hard to understand how others are feeling without asking them, or can completely miss social cues
  • I struggle with changes to my routine
  • I can find new situations quite anxiety inducing


  • I think out logical solutions a lot, and see logical pathways a lot more clearly
  • When I am writing, I generally write quite clearly, meaning instructions and guidance are clear and to the point
  • I over-compensate to understand how people are feeling
  • I can create logical processes for teams without missing steps
  • At crunch times, I can make and stick to a plan quickly

Coping mechanisms

  • Lists in Notion of processes and proceedures so that if I am stressed, I have something to ‘ground’ myself
  • Planning out new things carefully so that I have prepared everything as much as possible before I go into it

My working style

My favourite tools


You can never take too many notes!

Taking notes keeps me engaged in meetings, or just allows me to get down ideas quickly before I forget them.

Notion allows me to do this in a logical way, and allows me to organise and present these without faff.

I also like Notion because it’s my personal space. I use it for both work and my home life.


Having something recording everything you view, say or hear sounds super scary at first, but then you hear that it’s all done and stored locally.

Rewind allows me to find that article I know was super useful but is now buried in my history, or something discussed in a meeting and I can’t remember what the context was.

It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to help with my ADHD.


I’m probably very old fashioned but I prefer running all my design software locally.

I used to be an Xd user but I think it’s slowly dying as Adobe completes its buyout of Figma.

I also love the amount of community plugins, and it works with exctly how I want my styleguides to be built.

Please just fix layout asap!


Arc is the only Chromium browser I install on my Macs.

I love the way I can pin apps, create spaces for different projects, and that I can just change the css of sites to make them exactly how I like!

New and innovative features keep coming too, it’s just a great rethink.

I can’t wait to see where the devs go next!

Chat GPT

What can I say? The hype is real!

GPT pairs really well with Notion for me. I can feed it lists I’ve made to compare to real world scenarios and it’ll help me go through them.

I’ve recently been using it to help transcribe the transcripts from user research too.

It really does so much, and is the person I can ask all my silly questions!


I’m no artist, but Procreate has been the quickest get-up-and-go app I’ve used.

It’s very fairly priced and I love how quickly I can sketch out an icon or logo and export it and refine it in Illustrator.

I love the company’s values of bringing software that’s easy to use for a low price.

And I can’t wait to get started with Procreate Dreams!

I also have lots of web resources I rely on…

Check out my list here

My general process

Although each project is different, and even within a project the order of items can change, in general I like to follow a general process, with certain types of research above others. Some of these relate more to the nature of my current role, where my role supports both sales and development.

As a team of one, I get full control over what tools I use, as long as I don’t upset the developers! I therefore experiment quite a lot with different tools, especially now as new AI products come out.

I have listed below the key points I almost always do in a project. I sometimes do others, but I think these are key to a good project.


1 on 1 interviews

These are nice and intimate, and if you build up a relationship, you can get some real insight on current process and pain points.

These are with everyone I can get my hands on, including stakeholders, users and potential users.

Google Meet icon Google Docs icon Rewind app icon Notion app icon
Journeys and affinity maps

These are great for consolidating findings from research, and then finding themes.

Lately I have been using ChatGPT to help me by putting in transcripts and asking it to find key points. I might make personas later if required.

Miro icon Chat GPT icon
Card sorting and tree testing

This is more a of a ‘if we need more clarity’ activity, but super useful.

It helps get lots of people’s input into terminology and hierarchey of where we are putting things within a system.

Optimal Workshop icon



Wireframes have been the go-to for presenting ideas. They are great for explaining what I want to do, but they can be really hard to maintain in the long run. They are still my go-to as they are the easiest to understand.

(Have a look at priority guides)

Sketch icon Zeplin icon
Style guides

If I have a small project, I usually don’t need to document loads of bits, but I need to give rules on how components are used.

In a style guide I’ll document all the typography, symbols, colours and components I use.

Sketch icon Zeplin icon
Design systems

These are the evolution of style guides, but are really useful when we’re going to do a long term project that will have decisions that we should document.

Design systems need maintainence, but this is generally good in the long run. They are also really fun to make!

Sketch icon Zeplin icon Storybook icon
Priority guides

My latest foray into creating something that isn’t customer facing but gives the devs enough to work on.

The hope is that simple ‘lists’ of layouts will be able to communicate whole screens, but I wonder whether components in Sketch are as quick?

Confluence icon Google Docs icon


Further user research

This is basically just an open area for prodding whatever I think needs more attention.

I usually start with any feedback from customers or mistakes we see users making a lot.

We might also prod the real user monitoring stuff to find out some insights…

Real user monitoring

These are nice and intimate, and if you build up a relationship, you can get some real insight on current process and pain points.

These are with everyone I can get my hands on, including stakeholders, users and potential users.

Datadog icon Google Analyitcs icon