UX research, strategy & design for your startup

Hi, we're Matt & Judit. Whether you’re building a product from scratch or needing support for your existing offering, we can help you with good, efficient and affordable design.

Find out more on how we work or check our portfolio.

30 minutes. No strings attached.


Case studies

Love Local case study

Retail

An experiment to validate a product idea, before starting to design or opening a code editor.

OCN case study

Heathcare

How we helped OCN envisioning a functional medicine digital approach to treating chronic conditions.

Mullvad case study

Internet security

How we helped Mullvad to redesign their cross-platform VPN apps.

Money In & Money Out case study

Finance

How we built a pair of iPhone apps for helping freelancers with their bookkeeping.

Bullet News case study

News

How we helped Bullet News improve their customer experience across multiple channels.

Snapp case study

Publishing

How we helped Snapp gain and retain The Economist as a client.

Trustpilot case study

Corporate

How we helped Trustpilot to redesign their platform, internally.

Magi case study

Smart home

How we helped Magi create a simple and intuitive way to control your home using your iPhone... all before Homekit, Hue or Alexa were a thing.


Articles

Judit & Matt's flip-flops

How we do pair design

Working as a design pair enables us to deliver faster, and design better. It speeds up our workflow as reduces the need of rework. It allows design improvement in the production cycle, without slowing things down.

SOS

Some considerations on hiring design help

Hiring the right design help is crucial to give you most value for money without compromising quality of outcome. Here are some considerations on four different approaches when investing on design resources for your project.

Salt 'n' Pepper

Why you should hire a design pair

Hiring two designers that work as one for your project can add more value, be less risky, and be more cost-effective than other design resources.


Simple & Pretty

How we work

We’re experienced and efficient remote workers. We’re motivated with a problem-solving attitude. We’re self-discipline and organised. We get things done. We are Matt & Judit.

Our approach

Research-lead UX

In its different types, research informs our design decisions with data and evidence. It helps designing the right thing, in the right way, which saves money and time in the long run. We conduct research in a lean way, providing actionable user insights without breaking the bank on recruitment agencies and lab testing.


Collaborative & transparent

We don’t work in isolation. We collaborate closely involving your team in our workflow to ensure we design and build the right experience. We speed up production with a “show, don’t tell” approach to hand-off communication. We work openly, you can access WIP and final docs any time. We free you up from later dependencies making everything available online.


Code of conduct

We commit to do our job to the best of our abilities, in an ethical, responsible way. We consider the repercussions of our design choices and their impact on real people. We believe that good design is accessible and inclusive.

We store research and design materials safely and securely. We keep users’ data anonymous, and only share it with the team for project’s purposes.

Pair design

We share a common space with two laptops, a whiteboard, sketch pads and post-its where the two of us design as one for a project. Working together we deliver more, and better design and we speed up our workflow. It maximises design quality and reduces need of rework. Working as one enables design improvement in the production cycle without slowing things down.

Read our article on How we do pair design.


Systematic feedback

It's our decision-making tool. We conduct design critiques constantly as part of our pair workflow. We also include feedback loops from users and the product team. We don’t react to it without thinking. We reflect and respond on the best way for your users and your business goals.

Our process

1

Identify user and business requirements

We inform your project strategy with evidence-based insights and recommendations.

Exploring the problem

2

Define your product specifications

We help to envision and scope your product, based on UX requirements and business capabilities.

Defining the product

3

Create a product experience that adds value

We inform your project strategy with evidence-based insights and recommendations.

Mapping out the experience

4

Execute your designs efficiently

We implement a coherent user interface, ensuring it’s built to perform as intended.

Building and using a design system

Simple & Pretty

Hi, I’m Judit

UX Researcher

I’ve been helping digital teams to design and build user-centric products and services fo the last seven years. I provide actionable UX research, testing, insights and recommendations through all stages of a product’s lifecycle.

Judit Layana — UX Researcher

I involve team members in the research I conduct to ensure they become real user advocators. This helps them to distil their product strategy based on evidence and to make data-informed design decisions.

I collaborate with Matt to design and build efficient, high-quality experiences that add value to users, businesses and the world we live in. Find out more about how we work.

Prior to my career as a UX researcher, I worked as a journalist, editorial designer and magazine art director for almost a decade.

Journalism provided me with the skills to know how to ask the right questions, listen when people talk and communicate their stories accurately. Editorial design gave me understanding of content, hierarchy and structure, and an eye for detail. Art direction gave me the opportunity to coordinate teams and provide actionable insights.

All these learned skills became hugely relevant when I transitioned to digital, and have greatly influence my work as UX researcher these days.


How I got here

April 2018

First Health startup

I helped OCN envision their product and its offering, by providing discovery research and user insights, experience recommendations and customer journey mapping.

January 2017

First security product

I conducted discovery research, user interviews, testing and diary studies for Mullvad's VPN apps.

November 2016

First time localising apps

Along side the release of iOS 10, we launched Money In & Money Out, a pair of bookkeeping iPhone apps for freelancers.

September 2016

First time launching my own apps

Along side the release of iOS 10, we launched Money In & Money Out, a pair of bookkeeping iPhone apps for freelancers.

April 2015

First dual-governmental service

Working for Home Office Digital through Kainos, I provided user research and prototype testing for Global Entry Programme. This was a joint project between UK and US goverment border forces.

March 2015

First bi-lingual governmental service

Working for Home Office Digital through Kainos, I mapped the customer journey for an Electronic Visa Waiver Program. This service was for English and Arabic speakers.

November 2014

UX coach at Bali startup weekend

I assisted and gave advice on UX research to members of small startup teams, so they could rapidly create their product over crazy 72 hours.

September 2014

First time conducting remote user testing

Working for Adaptive Lab, I conducted moderated (in presence & remote) and unmoderated user testing for Barclaycard’s servicing tool.

June 2014

First time conducting user testing embedded in Agile sprints

Working for New Experience, I conducted usability testing sessions for Sky's Cloud storage service, reporting weekly insights and recommendations to the product team

May 2014

Joined Matt Homer at Simple & Pretty

Working as a design pair, we provide businesses with efficient, affordable, research-informed, full-stack UX services.

March 2014

First time conducting field research in the Pharma industry

Working for Tigerspike, I conducted user shadowing, contextual enquiry, stakeholders interviews and focus groups for Novartis global marketing plan.

February 2014

First time conducting primary research for public services

Working for Tigerspike, I conducted user shadowing and contextual enquiry with social workers from the Adult Social Care team from Westminster City Council to identify needs, pain points and opportunities for improvement in their processes.

July 2013

Set up an in-house usability lab

Working for Tigerspike, I set up a portable, in-house research lab and conducted weekly, rapid usability testing for John Lewis' iPad app.

January 2012

First time mapping customer journeys with task analysis

Working for Tigerspike, I conducted task analysis and mapped the customer journey for different user types of American Express mobile homepage and app.

October 2011

First time conducting competition analysis

Working for Tigerspike, I conducted for Emirates Airlines a series of competition analysis on airline and travel apps, bench-marking existing functionality to gain market insights and unveil opportunities.

July 2011

First role as a UX Researcher

Tigerspike was the first digital agency to hire me while I was transitioning from print to UX design. I'm thankful to them, specially to Greg Taylor.

March 2011

First time speaker

I was invited to talk at Design Symposium at the University of Zurich about the relevance of the iPad for the future of print magazines.

October 2010

MA in Interactive Media

Graduated with Distinction from London School of Communication. My desertion and final project focused on new user experiences on the iPad (which launched in March 2010).

May 2005

Promoted to art director

For four years, I was the Special Issues art director for the Brides, Interiors and lifestyle editions for TELVA magazine.

November 1999

First role as editorial designer

While working for TELVA magazine, our design team, lead by art director Carolina Carrascal, won the ARI Design Award to the best editorial design team of the year in 2002.

June 1999

MA in Editorial Magazine Design

Graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism.

June 1997

BA in Journalism

Graduated from University of Navarra, School of Journalism.


Simple & Pretty

Hi, I’m Matt

UX Designer

I am a multi-disciplinary designer, who specialises in creating apps and websites. More than just pixel-pushing and style guides, I help businesses efficiently strategise, create and execute user-centric experiences.

Matt Homer — UX Designer

After nearly 2 decades of helping businesses of all size, — in-house, in agencies or as a consultant — I have seen more failures than successes. I combine these learnings with ethical business and design principles, to deliver effective digital experiences, with reduced cost and risk.

All my work is research–led and data–informed, which helps reduce ego, bias and subjectivity in my problem solving and execution. Judit keeps me accountable through deep, interwoven collaboration. Find out more about how we work.

I hate wasted time, rework and bureaucracy. So, where possible, I implement optimisations and automations to increase productivity and collaboration.

During the last year I have been learning Spanish, app development and building construction.


How I got here

April 2018

First Health startup

I helped OCN envision their product and team, providing discovery research insights, product strategy and definition, UX requirements and recommendations for the experience.

January 2017

First Security startup

I helped Mullvad redesign their multi-platform VPN apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux.

September 2016

First time launching my own apps

Along side the release of iOS 10, we launched Money In and Money Out, a pair of bookkeeping iPhone apps for freelancers.

May 2015

First News startup

I helped Bullet News improve their customer experience across multiple channels.

November 2014

UX coach at Bali startup weekend

I assisted and gave advice on UX design to members of small startup teams, so they could rapidly create their product over crazy 72 hours.

August 2014

Enhanced data visualisation and reporting for conflict zones

I helped First Mile Geo redesigning their website, dashboard and charts to improve the reporting experience with enhanced data visualisation.

August 2014

First universal iOS app design

While working with Snapp, I helped The Economist to transition their premium iPhone and iPad Magazine apps to a single universal iOS app.

June 2014

First bilingual English-Chinese app design

While working with Snapp, I designed The Economist China iOS bilingual app, which would become The Economist’s Global Business Review app.

April 2014

Featured in Apple App Store

While working with Snapp, I designed The Economist Radio for iOS, Android and web. It was designed and built in 8 weeks, and was feature in iOS App Store.

July 2013

UX strategy and design direction for global platform

While working with Snapp, I worked on site as in-house design director for Trustpilot, in Copenhagen. I help them with their rebrand and rebuild of their customer channels.

April 2013

First smart home app design

Working along side Magi hardware team, on location in Cape Town, I designed a simple and intuitive way to control your home smart lights using your iPhone.

March 2013

Formed Simple & Pretty

Working as a design pair, we provide businesses with efficient, affordable, research-informed, full-stack UX services.

October 2012

Design lead for global brand’s iOS app

While working at Tigerspike, I did the UI/UX design for Emirates Airlines iOS apps, working from London, Dubai and Poland.

September 2011

First time designing for Hebrew (RTL)

While working at Tigerspike, I lead the UX design for Haaretz iOS apps, in London and Tel Aviv.

August 2011

First time designing for Arabic (RTL)

While working at Tigerspike, I helped designing the Al-Jazeera iPad app.

May 2011

Designing a single experience for multiple brand apps

While working at Tigerspike, I designed a range of recipe apps for Random House. They shared similar UX, but different UI visual styles. I also did the UI design of the first in the range: My Kitchen Table.

September 2009

First iOS app design

I designed and directed the production of the Bloodhound iPhone app for Mist agency. It was a product info and news app with at “join the pipes” mini-game, for the ‘World’s fastest car’ challenger.

February 2008

First accessibility focused design

While working at Mezzo, I created web and digital accessibility resources for disabled users for DirectGov.

August 2007

First cross-platform app design

While working at Mezzo, I helped design NHS TrainingPod — a pre-smartphone mobile learning platform, using iPod USB sticks, for Nurses on-going, on-the-job education.

June 2005

Graduated BSc EIMC

With Honours. From University of Bradford. Focusing on Design, Web development and video production.

September 2004

Note-taking for special needs students

While working for University of Bradford Student Services, I attended Ba Archeology lectors as an official note-taker.

August 2004

The Goodness music collective

I was responsible for all visual aspects, including music artwork, web, social media, flyers, merchandise, animations and club visuals.

August 2002

Formed first design studio: Friction

A studio focusing on branding, web and print design services for startups and SMEs.

August 2001

First commercial project

Flash website for LoveApple cafe in Bradford, for SectionEmedia agency.

April 2001

Design internship

Working for SectionEMedia, I was promoted to junior designer after 3 months.

July 2000

Graduated Advance GNVQ Business

A 2-year business course, which I passed with Distinction.