ALAN CULVIN

alan culvin

ux designer

liverpool
alan culvin

Ux researcher

Liverpool
alan culvin

product designer

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A BIT ABOUT ME


I am a user experience designer and researcher with multiple years of experience working with digital products within a variety of industries. I am passionate about understanding user behaviours and education colleagues and stakeholders about the value of good design.

In my current role, I am working on creating a brand new B2B networking application that is being aimed at the manufacturing industry. As the sole designer on the project I am responsible for all UX/UI decisions and have recently been developing the user experience for the onboarding process and key features on the application.

If you find yourself (or your team) asking, "What if the user needs to...?" there is only one thing to do: Go and find out how important it actually is. You should be asking, "How often do the people I'm designing for encounter this problem?". If the answer is hardly ever, then drop the idea and move on...

Avoid speculating about what users might or might not do.

Go and find out what they ACTUALLY do.

I believe that design and innovation can make all of our lives better. I love to use design thinking and user research techniques to collaborate and disrupt the status quo to develop simpler, more effective solutions to even the most complex of problems.

I am a firm believer that failure as part of the design process is always a strength if we can recognise our shortcomings and learn.

ACMI Studios Liverpool
nnnnn

what do i know?


BSc (Hons) Design & Innovation
Open University

Digital Marketing Certification
Google Digital

Cert HE Interactive Design
Liverpool John Moores

BTEC ND Graphic Design
Liverpool Arts College


Design Sprint facilitation
HTML/CSS
Design Thinking
HCD Processes for Services & Systems
Product Development
Rapid Prototyping


Web Design SEO Liverpool

professional experience


Valuechain Technology | Product Designer
2020-Present

ACMI Studios | Freelance
2019-Present

Abacus Securities | Digital Product Designer
2019-2020

Red Ninja Labs | UX/UI Researcher
2019

Allerton Windows | Digital Marketing
2018-2019


Web Design SEO Liverpool

10

Years of
experience

Featured

projects

ACMI Studios Web design seo liverpool

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For all of my projects I focus on the user and place them at the heart of the process by taking a design thinking approach to solving design challenges.

UX Design | User Research | Product Design

Ux design

user research

ux design

User research

product design

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Client: UCLA

UX Research & Design

Client: Abacus Securities

UX Research & Web Design

Client: Tilliemint Childrens Boutique

UX Research & Web Design

OpenIDEO Challenge

User Research, Product Innovation

ucla

Year:
2020

Roles:
Sprint Facilitator
User Research
UX Design
Prototyping
Graphic Design

Client:
University of California

Overview
For this project I worked as part of a collaborative design process that aimed to create a healthcare app that would become a trusted resource of information for users that have been a part of the organ transplant process. The project was led by the University of California.

Challenge
A leading professor at the University provided our team with the design challenge; During Covid-19 and beyond, telemedicine' rapidly expanding use requires the development of centralised digital repositories of specialised educational content and referral resources that empower patients to manage chronic disease. While telemedicine has become mandatory, technologies built in partnership with patients to empower them to manoeuvre this new reality effectively, do not exist.

Users & Audience
For many projects that I have worked on I have created my own semi-fictional characters to populate my user personas. However, the approach to this project was slightly different. We began the project with a 5-day Design Sprint, roughly following the methodology that has been championed at Google for a number of years. Our sprint group consisted of a broad range of stakeholders and potential end users for the product. The group was made up of designers, entrepreneurs, professors, doctors, patients, researchers and industry leaders.

Scope & Constraints
Although this was a really exciting project to be a part of, it had many challenges. The initial 5-day was conducted 100% remotely, with participants joining in from the UK, USA, South America and South Africa. The broad spectrum of stakeholders meant that planning the sessions around changing time zones became a major factor. The group was also made up of around 20 participants that had varying levels of technical capability. If conducting a sprint in person, then this can be easily addressed within the room, however, facilitating this remotely meant extra planning. To overcome this I planned a 1 day onboarding session, where I could demonstrate the tools that where to be used and answer any concerns early.

Process
Before beginning the project the design team had to decide upon the right approach that would generate the results both us and the project stakeholders where looking for. I am a huge supporter of the Google Design Sprint process and I felt this project, with its tight timescales and large group of stakeholders, would be perfectly suited to this methodology. This meant we could lead an intense week of collaborative design work with real users and at the conclusion of the week, the stakeholders would have a prototype that could be tested for feedback.

Although a Design Sprint has a schedule of exercises that can be used, we wanted to explore how we could introduce new exercises that we felt would help our process. We introduced trusted user research techniques, such as the MoSCoW analysis and the Crazy 8's sketch exercise, to support our process.

For the very first stage I invited experts from the group to share some of their knowledge of the challenges that we where about to address as a group. These interviews allowed me to immerse myself within the thought process of the group and start to understand what each participant wants from the sessions. Using the insights that I gathered I could also begin to reframe the challenges into sprint questions and opportunities.

The remainder of the sprint was structured with the following exercises;
- How Might We
- Long Term Goals
- User Map
- Lightning Demos
- 4 Part Sketching
- Concept Sketching
- User Test Flow
- Storyboard
- Prototype Testing
- MoSCoW Analysis

As a facilitator for the sprint, my challenge was to keep the group engaged throughout the process. We had a large group of around 20 participants all taking part remotely. I have extensive previous experience of leading teams of around 20-25 colleagues in a line management capacity, and this became invaluable as I worked through the sprint workshop.

Alongside facilitating the workshop, I also had to keep track of our progress and upon the conclusion of the week, prepare a sprint report that was to be shared with the group. The images shown within the project have all been taken from this report and detail each of the exercises that we worked through as a group.

The penultimate day of the workshop gave us, as the design team, a chance to process the information that we had gathered over the course of the week and begin to create a prototype of the product. For this stage I worked with another designer on a shared Adobe XD project to create a high fidelity prototype that was fully interactive and clickable.

Outcome & Lessons Learned
The end of the workshop arrived and we had achieved our target of providing the project team with a fully working prototype of their product that could be used for further testing and development. For future projects of this kind I would endeavour to complete as much of the process in person, however sometimes this is not possible. Another crucial finding was the size of the group, we had a large group for the sprint workshop and this meant it was, at times, tough to keep the workshop on track and the whole group engaged.

*The full Design Insight report can be viewed at www.behance.net/alanculvin

abacus securities

Year:
2020

Field:
Website Design
Creative Direction
UX Design
SEO Strategy

Client:
Abacus Securities Ltd

Project Overview

Abacus Securities Ltd are a security solutions company based in the North West of England. Formed in 2002, they now provide security systems design, installation and maintenance to companies nationwide.

Abacus asked me to begin working on creating a digital presence for the company as a way of generating visibility for the company. The plan was to create a new website that would allow Abacus to begin to drive traffic into their domain. 

My role

As the sole designer working on this project, everything you see was created by me. I was responsible for defining the audience, creating personas, mapping user journey, producing wireframes and the final UI designs

Client feedback

"We where blown away by Alan's professional approach to this project - really responsive, creative and structured. His work has added value to the business and we are delighted with the input from Alan. From the outset of the work his research techniques and clear communication made the whole project as simple for us as possible."

Who, what, why?

For every project that I work on I begin by asking the same three questions; What makes our potential users feel good?; What is the user trying to do with the product, any why?; What are the variables that I can control, as a designer?

It is always useful to reframe the design challenge into a single sentence, or how might we statement, that can become the focus of the project.

Abacus already had a detailed understanding of who their user could potentially be. However, I wanted to define this further. I created some eco-system maps so that I could gain a deeper understanding of who could be impacted by the new design. This information helped me to create some really useful user personas that would guide my decisions for the remainder of the project.

define the journey

In many cases, I find that creating a working prototype of an entire site or application can become time consuming and unnecessary. I often use this simple framework for user journey mapping that allows me to understand simple journeys through the product. The purpose of such a simple approach is to strip out as much of the emotion as possible and simply plot the actual physical interactions that the user is likely to take. From a UX point of view, this works brilliantly, as it allows me to find the easiest way through the product for a user.

wireframing

Once the user journey has been defined I needed to turn my focus to producing some wireframes that would further explore the experience. I find wire-framing a really useful technique that gives me more visibility at screen level of how my design could develop.

ui exploration

At this stage I moved to exploring the overall look of the website. I did this by creating 3 landing page mock-ups that used the same layout but where displayed in different styles. I often find this approach makes it easier to communicate ideas to a client as they can visualise the impact of each design clearly.

final ui

Once we had decided on one of the concept ideas to develop, it was time to apply this style to the whole site until we arrived at our final design.

Tilliemint

children's boutique

Year:
2020

Field:
Branding
Website Design
User Research

Client:
Tillie Mint Children's Boutique

project overview

Tilliemint Children's Boutique specialise in boutique items of clothing and accessories for babies and children. They are a new family run business that require a brand identity and an engaging e-commerce website that was simple and usable for customers.

my roles

As the sole designer working on this project, my roles consisted of brand designer, web designer and UX researcher.

client feedback

"We are delighted with the outcome of this project. The amount of work that Alan has put in to achieve these results is amazing and we can't thank him enough. The knowledge and insights that he was able to provide us shocked us, as we have never thought about design work in this way. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to create beautiful digital products."

who, what, why?

There are hundreds of boutique stores that offer luxury clothing items at competitive prices. However, there are very few that create personal experiences for users that goes beyond a basic e-commerce website, whilst being able to source unique pieces and accessories.

The main target audience for this project was highlighted as being predominantly parents of young children that had a fair to high level of disposable income. This gave me a great platform to use more detailed user research techniques to further define the potential end users and create an eco system map of how they could be impacted by the website.

user flow

As part of the first round of design meetings with the client I highlighted potential users of the site and conducted research to understand trends. After further discussions with the client and potential end users we began to build the structure of the site and the brand.

User mapping and journey analysis sessions allowed me to map the site in a simple and usable way that would enhance the customer experience.

hifi prototype

Once we had defined the flow and decided what screens we needed, I started to create a prototype that would explore the experience in more detail at screen level.

LOGO exploration

At the beginning of the project the owners expressed a desire to include a small, 'cute' animal, within the logo. As part pf the concept generation process, I also experimented with different style fonts and layouts for the logo.

logo

The Tilliemint Children's Boutique logo is inspired by children. The handwritten style for the main text helps to communicate the core message of a trusted, children focused brand, to customers.

Final ui

The Tilliemint brand colour scheme is influenced by neutral, pastel style colours that can be associated with young children. We wanted to use shades of grey as a base colour for the brand with a single colour on top. We ultimately chose this colour as green to keep the brand neutral and appealing to both genders.

open ideo challenge

Year:
2019

Field:
User Research
Product Innovation

Client:
Open IDEO Social Impact Challenge

social impact challenge

How might we find a potential solution to the current environmental crisis by reimagining how we recycle waste items, whilst ensuring any solution can be scaled, globally?

project focus

One aspect of the environmental crisis is the state of the world's oceans. As a global population we dump approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic into the oceans each year, and according to many environmental groups, only 9% of discarded plastics are being recycled around the world. The starting point for the challenge is a strong belief that more can be done.

design Requirements

As part of my initial research I wanted to understand what the most important design requirements could be for my solution. In my opinion the design should;

- Demonstrate a clear and obvious impact
- Be appealing
- Require minimal effort
- Work alongside existing solutions
- Be convenient
- Be adaptable
- Be desirable
- Be sustainable
- Empower users
- Be quick to implement
- Have a clear direction

context & Research techniques

My research began by focusing on the scale of the plastic problem and understanding the kind of impact that discarded plastics where having on marine ecosystems. To this point, my research was largely based online by gathering information from leading organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace.

Plastic pollution is a global problem and using information searching as the primary source of data was the most effective way of building an understanding of the whole issue.

I decided that my research would also benefit from analysis of user journeys and user interviews. From my interviews I directed the users to think as consumers and I found that any environmental issues or impacts where of secondary importance. In order to analyse user journeys I spent some time at local beaches to observe how people dispose of waste items and how they could potentially react to items that had already been dumped. I also found that it was useful to discover what kinds of items where available to purchase around the beach.

findings & solution concept

My research highlighted numerous issues, the most shocking being that for each of the last 10 years, beach clean up operations have found that cigarette butts are the most voluminous waste item around the world. Cigarette butts consistently rank higher than plastic bottles, straws and packaging for the amount of waste that is found on the world's beaches.

Each cigarette butt contains remnants of tobacco, paper and a filter. The filters are made from a plastic called cellulose acetate, which is also the material that is widely used in the manufacturing of sunglasses.

My idea, therefore, for a potential solution is to create a brand that distributes sunglasses which have been produced using only the materials extracted from collected cigarette butts.

product feasibility

I wanted to research potential challenges that my solution could face as it developed. The main issue that I found would be the possible impacts and complicated logistics of sourcing the cigarette butts from each beach clean up operation. Research has already shown the global scale of the problem and negative financial and environmental implications could undermine any future project. This could potentially be addressed by exploring how feasible it would be to process, manufacture and distribute any product from a single site?

technical & material issues

One technical issue I have found is that a cigarette butt can contain anywhere between 12000 and 16000 cellulose acetate fibres, and that it would take the extraction of approximately 250 butts to provide the required material for one sunglasses frame. This particular piece of research did make me question the feasibility of the concept, as it appeared to be a lot of material would need to be sourced for little output. However, with cigarette making up 38% of the total waste collected worldwide, the supply of waste material would not be a problem as long as the correct infrastructure, to source such material, is implemented.

The methodology for the extraction of cellulose acetate from cigarette butt waste is still a largely untested process. This is another issue that my research had highlighted. This particular problem, however, had a positive influence on the final design.  Whilst there are indeed questions to be asked about the feasibility of a large scale extraction operation, the fact that the process is still in its infancy presents an exciting opportunity for development.

eco system mapping

To further understand my potential solution I used ecosystem mapping to define my audience. This method is really useful as it can broaden your thinking beyond those who are primarily impacted by the product. It also helps to build understanding of social factors and potential compatibility with cultural values.

innovation evaluation

The potential environmental benefits of my innovation are clear, in that it finds a solution to re-use a large amount of cigarette butts that are being discarded each year. Whilst the number that will be recovered and used in my proposed production process can be considered small, and is but a fraction of the 4.25 trillion butts that are believed to find their way into the environment every year, there are environmental benefits never the less. The EPD of a similar product also shows that environmental impacts of sunglasses are small. The product has the potential to empower users by offering the opportunity to use their consumer powers for environmental good.  Awareness of the marine plastic crisis could be heightened by products such as these and this is of benefit to both the environment and social sustainability.

ucla

Year:
2020

Roles:
Sprint Facilitator
User Research
UX Design
Prototyping
Graphic Design

Client:
University of California

Overview
For this project I worked as part of a collaborative design process that aimed to create a healthcare app that would become a trusted resource of information for users that have been a part of the organ transplant process. The project was led by the University of California.

Challenge
A leading professor at the University provided our team with the design challenge; During Covid-19 and beyond, telemedicine' rapidly expanding use requires the development of centralised digital repositories of specialised educational content and referral resources that empower patients to manage chronic disease. While telemedicine has become mandatory, technologies built in partnership with patients to empower them to manoeuvre this new reality effectively, do not exist.

Users & Audience
For many projects that I have worked on I have created my own semi-fictional characters to populate my user personas. However, the approach to this project was slightly different. We began the project with a 5-day Design Sprint, roughly following the methodology that has been championed at Google for a number of years. Our sprint group consisted of a broad range of stakeholders and potential end users for the product. The group was made up of designers, entrepreneurs, professors, doctors, patients, researchers and industry leaders.

Scope & Constraints
Although this was a really exciting project to be a part of, it had many challenges. The initial 5-day was conducted 100% remotely, with participants joining in from the UK, USA, South America and South Africa. The broad spectrum of stakeholders meant that planning the sessions around changing time zones became a major factor. The group was also made up of around 20 participants that had varying levels of technical capability. If conducting a sprint in person, then this can be easily addressed within the room, however, facilitating this remotely meant extra planning. To overcome this I planned a 1 day onboarding session, where I could demonstrate the tools that where to be used and answer any concerns early.

Process
Before beginning the project the design team had to decide upon the right approach that would generate the results both us and the project stakeholders where looking for. I am a huge supporter of the Google Design Sprint process and I felt this project, with its tight timescales and large group of stakeholders, would be perfectly suited to this methodology. This meant we could lead an intense week of collaborative design work with real users and at the conclusion of the week, the stakeholders would have a prototype that could be tested for feedback.

Although a Design Sprint has a schedule of exercises that can be used, we wanted to explore how we could introduce new exercises that we felt would help our process. We introduced trusted user research techniques, such as the MoSCoW analysis and the Crazy 8's sketch exercise, to support our process.

For the very first stage I invited experts from the group to share some of their knowledge of the challenges that we where about to address as a group. These interviews allowed me to immerse myself within the thought process of the group and start to understand what each participant wants from the sessions. Using the insights that I gathered I could also begin to reframe the challenges into sprint questions and opportunities.

The remainder of the sprint was structured with the following exercises;
- How Might We
- Long Term Goals
- User Map
- Lightning Demos
- 4 Part Sketching
- Concept Sketching
- User Test Flow
- Storyboard
- Prototype Testing
- MoSCoW Analysis

As a facilitator for the sprint, my challenge was to keep the group engaged throughout the process. We had a large group of around 20 participants all taking part remotely. I have extensive previous experience of leading teams of around 20-25 colleagues in a line management capacity, and this became invaluable as I worked through the sprint workshop.

Alongside facilitating the workshop, I also had to keep track of our progress and upon the conclusion of the week, prepare a sprint report that was to be shared with the group. The images shown within the project have all been taken from this report and detail each of the exercises that we worked through as a group.

The penultimate day of the workshop gave us, as the design team, a chance to process the information that we had gathered over the course of the week and begin to create a prototype of the product. For this stage I worked with another designer on a shared Adobe XD project to create a high fidelity prototype that was fully interactive and clickable.

Outcome & Lessons Learned
The end of the workshop arrived and we had achieved our target of providing the project team with a fully working prototype of their product that could be used for further testing and development. For future projects of this kind I would endeavour to complete as much of the process in person, however sometimes this is not possible. Another crucial finding was the size of the group, we had a large group for the sprint workshop and this meant it was, at times, tough to keep the workshop on track and the whole group engaged.

*The full Design Insight report can be viewed at www.behance.net/alanculvin

abacus securities

Year:
2020

Field:
Website Design
Creative Direction
UX Design
SEO Strategy

Client:
Abacus Securities Ltd

Project Overview

Abacus Securities Ltd are a security solutions company based in the North West of England. Formed in 2002, they now provide security systems design, installation and maintenance to companies nationwide.

Abacus asked me to begin working on creating a digital presence for the company as a way of generating visibility for the company. The plan was to create a new website that would allow Abacus to begin to drive traffic into their domain. 

My role

As the sole designer working on this project, everything you see was created by me. I was responsible for defining the audience, creating personas, mapping user journey, producing wireframes and the final UI designs

Client feedback

"We where blown away by Alan's professional approach to this project - really responsive, creative and structured. His work has added value to the business and we are delighted with the input from Alan. From the outset of the work his research techniques and clear communication made the whole project as simple for us as possible."

Who, what, why?

For every project that I work on I begin by asking the same three questions; What makes our potential users feel good?; What is the user trying to do with the product, any why?; What are the variables that I can control, as a designer?

It is always useful to reframe the design challenge into a single sentence, or how might we statement, that can become the focus of the project.

Abacus already had a detailed understanding of who their user could potentially be. However, I wanted to define this further. I created some eco-system maps so that I could gain a deeper understanding of who could be impacted by the new design. This information helped me to create some really useful user personas that would guide my decisions for the remainder of the project.

define the journey

In many cases, I find that creating a working prototype of an entire site or application can become time consuming and unnecessary. I often use this simple framework for user journey mapping that allows me to understand simple journeys through the product. The purpose of such a simple approach is to strip out as much of the emotion as possible and simply plot the actual physical interactions that the user is likely to take. From a UX point of view, this works brilliantly, as it allows me to find the easiest way through the product for a user.

wireframing

Once the user journey has been defined I needed to turn my focus to producing some wireframes that would further explore the experience. I find wire-framing a really useful technique that gives me more visibility at screen level of how my design could develop.

ui exploration

At this stage I moved to exploring the overall look of the website. I did this by creating 3 landing page mock-ups that used the same layout but where displayed in different styles. I often find this approach makes it easier to communicate ideas to a client as they can visualise the impact of each design clearly.

final ui

Once we had decided on one of the concept ideas to develop, it was time to apply this style to the whole site until we arrived at our final design.

Tilliemint

children's boutique

Year:
2020

Field:
Branding
Website Design
User Research

Client:
Tillie Mint Children's Boutique

project overview

Tilliemint Children's Boutique specialise in boutique items of clothing and accessories for babies and children. They are a new family run business that require a brand identity and an engaging e-commerce website that was simple and usable for customers.

my roles

As the sole designer working on this project, my roles consisted of brand designer, web designer and UX researcher.

client feedback

"We are delighted with the outcome of this project. The amount of work that Alan has put in to achieve these results is amazing and we can't thank him enough. The knowledge and insights that he was able to provide us shocked us, as we have never thought about design work in this way. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to create beautiful digital products."

who, what, why?

There are hundreds of boutique stores that offer luxury clothing items at competitive prices. However, there are very few that create personal experiences for users that goes beyond a basic e-commerce website, whilst being able to source unique pieces and accessories.

The main target audience for this project was highlighted as being predominantly parents of young children that had a fair to high level of disposable income. This gave me a great platform to use more detailed user research techniques to further define the potential end users and create an eco system map of how they could be impacted by the website.

user flow

As part of the first round of design meetings with the client I highlighted potential users of the site and conducted research to understand trends. After further discussions with the client and potential end users we began to build the structure of the site and the brand.

User mapping and journey analysis sessions allowed me to map the site in a simple and usable way that would enhance the customer experience.

hifi prototype

Once we had defined the flow and decided what screens we needed, I started to create a prototype that would explore the experience in more detail at screen level.

LOGO exploration

At the beginning of the project the owners expressed a desire to include a small, 'cute' animal, within the logo. As part pf the concept generation process, I also experimented with different style fonts and layouts for the logo.

logo

The Tilliemint Children's Boutique logo is inspired by children. The handwritten style for the main text helps to communicate the core message of a trusted, children focused brand, to customers.

Final ui

The Tilliemint brand colour scheme is influenced by neutral, pastel style colours that can be associated with young children. We wanted to use shades of grey as a base colour for the brand with a single colour on top. We ultimately chose this colour as green to keep the brand neutral and appealing to both genders.

open ideo challenge

Year:
2019

Field:
User Research
Product Innovation

Client:
Open IDEO Social Impact Challenge

social impact challenge

How might we find a potential solution to the current environmental crisis by reimagining how we recycle waste items, whilst ensuring any solution can be scaled, globally?

project focus

One aspect of the environmental crisis is the state of the world's oceans. As a global population we dump approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic into the oceans each year, and according to many environmental groups, only 9% of discarded plastics are being recycled around the world. The starting point for the challenge is a strong belief that more can be done.

design Requirements

As part of my initial research I wanted to understand what the most important design requirements could be for my solution. In my opinion the design should;

- Demonstrate a clear and obvious impact
- Be appealing
- Require minimal effort
- Work alongside existing solutions
- Be convenient
- Be adaptable
- Be desirable
- Be sustainable
- Empower users
- Be quick to implement
- Have a clear direction

context & Research techniques

My research began by focusing on the scale of the plastic problem and understanding the kind of impact that discarded plastics where having on marine ecosystems. To this point, my research was largely based online by gathering information from leading organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace.

Plastic pollution is a global problem and using information searching as the primary source of data was the most effective way of building an understanding of the whole issue.

I decided that my research would also benefit from analysis of user journeys and user interviews. From my interviews I directed the users to think as consumers and I found that any environmental issues or impacts where of secondary importance. In order to analyse user journeys I spent some time at local beaches to observe how people dispose of waste items and how they could potentially react to items that had already been dumped. I also found that it was useful to discover what kinds of items where available to purchase around the beach.

findings & solution concept

My research highlighted numerous issues, the most shocking being that for each of the last 10 years, beach clean up operations have found that cigarette butts are the most voluminous waste item around the world. Cigarette butts consistently rank higher than plastic bottles, straws and packaging for the amount of waste that is found on the world's beaches.

Each cigarette butt contains remnants of tobacco, paper and a filter. The filters are made from a plastic called cellulose acetate, which is also the material that is widely used in the manufacturing of sunglasses.

My idea, therefore, for a potential solution is to create a brand that distributes sunglasses which have been produced using only the materials extracted from collected cigarette butts.

product feasibility

I wanted to research potential challenges that my solution could face as it developed. The main issue that I found would be the possible impacts and complicated logistics of sourcing the cigarette butts from each beach clean up operation. Research has already shown the global scale of the problem and negative financial and environmental implications could undermine any future project. This could potentially be addressed by exploring how feasible it would be to process, manufacture and distribute any product from a single site?

technical & material issues

One technical issue I have found is that a cigarette butt can contain anywhere between 12000 and 16000 cellulose acetate fibres, and that it would take the extraction of approximately 250 butts to provide the required material for one sunglasses frame. This particular piece of research did make me question the feasibility of the concept, as it appeared to be a lot of material would need to be sourced for little output. However, with cigarette making up 38% of the total waste collected worldwide, the supply of waste material would not be a problem as long as the correct infrastructure, to source such material, is implemented.

The methodology for the extraction of cellulose acetate from cigarette butt waste is still a largely untested process. This is another issue that my research had highlighted. This particular problem, however, had a positive influence on the final design.  Whilst there are indeed questions to be asked about the feasibility of a large scale extraction operation, the fact that the process is still in its infancy presents an exciting opportunity for development.

eco system mapping

To further understand my potential solution I used ecosystem mapping to define my audience. This method is really useful as it can broaden your thinking beyond those who are primarily impacted by the product. It also helps to build understanding of social factors and potential compatibility with cultural values.

innovation evaluation

The potential environmental benefits of my innovation are clear, in that it finds a solution to re-use a large amount of cigarette butts that are being discarded each year. Whilst the number that will be recovered and used in my proposed production process can be considered small, and is but a fraction of the 4.25 trillion butts that are believed to find their way into the environment every year, there are environmental benefits never the less. The EPD of a similar product also shows that environmental impacts of sunglasses are small. The product has the potential to empower users by offering the opportunity to use their consumer powers for environmental good.  Awareness of the marine plastic crisis could be heightened by products such as these and this is of benefit to both the environment and social sustainability.

butt x butt

Year:
2019

Field:
Product Design
Product Development
Research
Graphic Design

Client:
Butt x Butt

Our collaboration with Butt x Butt was part of a funded research project that aimed to provide a potential solution to the marine plastic crisis.

butt x butt

We worked with the Butt x Butt team to conduct market research, create initial design and develop a product that would be ready for mass production once funding had been secured.

Our part in the process was to test the technical and financial feasibility of their idea. Whilst also creating a brand logo and some concept designs of the potential product. Finally we created a final pitch for the product that was taken to the project funding board for approval.

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web designer

web designer

web designer

web designer

BSc Design & innovation

cert he interactive design

btec nd graphic design

Google digital marketing certification

Education

Experience

awwwards

1 Site of The Day
4 Nominations
3 Honorable Mentions
2 Mobile Excellence

css design awards

1 Site of The Day
4 Nominations
3 Honorable Mentions
2 Mobile Excellence

the webby awards

1 Site of The Day
4 Nominations
3 Honorable Mentions
2 Mobile Excellence

the lovie awards

1 Site of The Day
4 Nominations
3 Honorable Mentions
2 Mobile Excellence

get in

touch

contact me

Location

Liverpool

info

alanculvin@outlook.com

let's work together

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