Barney May

Shaping projects with user insights: Driven by research and testing, My time at University has helped me understand user behaviours and trends to craft impactful solutions.

Final Project

Studi Budi

A concept to manage habitual smartphone interactions whilst studying and add value through optimising work sessions.

Main functions of Physical product

The product incorporates a Depth camera set up , involving an infrared projector and infrared camera to measure users minute chest movements and subsequent breathing rate whilst studying.

There is also a unique Magnetic latching system to a stainless steel disc on rear of users phone that allows users to take back control of their smartphone interactions whilst studying.

– Adding a barrier of use for reengaging with their devise and encouraging more mindful usage of their phone.

Main functions of App

The recorded data from depth cameras will be used to infer user drowsiness – research has shown a correlation between lowered breathing rate and subsequent drowsiness.

A developed “Lock out” feature within the app helps user add an extra barrier of use , whilst also enabling do not disturb mode – restricting notifications.

The application developed will provide retrospective feedback to the user about their day of work – combining the data from the depth camera set-up along with the overall phone usage and pickups whilst studying. – The app will then be able to suggest periods where the user is most productive , users can take this insight and hopefully utilise the times where drowsiness levels are lowest and habitual phone usage least prevalent.

Bio tracking via Depth Camera set up is engaged with periodically via a rotational camera slider (opening to engage and turning across to deactivate). The purpose of this technology is to provide periods of heightened focus in both private and public study environment – Linking to “The Hawthorne effect” The effect occurs when people behave differently because they know they are being watched.

Overview of User Testing

Insights gained about the interaction between user and concept , valuable for determining products function and enhancing usability.

Journey of Prototyping

Development of different fidelity models for user testing , exploration of assembly and construction.

Carry Case

Suiting user needs for a transportable concept and varied preference in study location.

Example of articulated base

Offering a versatile and inclusive solution to suit users of varied stature and different chest points for bio tracking.

Essential Research That Guided Project

Sammie CAD – used to asses product set up with users of varying stature and the implication to working space afforded to them when bio tracking is engaged.

Researched helped validate suitability of technology in a desk based environment whilst user is seated.

Articulated base allowing product to adjust the direction in which depth cameras point towards users chest for breathing rate recording.

Solaz, J. et al. (2016) states that “The optimum camera set up for depth cameras to most reliably track users breathing rate is between 550mm and 960mm away and parallel to user’s chest cavity.”

Depth cameras used within an Xbox Kinect set up had a high accuracy – “The breath rate measured with the Kinect camera matched with the plethysmographic measure with a correlation greater than 90%, using different statistical comparisons”

Solaz, J. et al. (2016) “Drowsiness detection based on the analysis of breathing rate obtained from real-time image recognition.”

Journey to the Show

Second Year Project – An at-home device for women aged 40 to 60 suffering from hand Osteoarthritis.

With 3 interchangeable, varying resistance foam sections and 2 specialised foam rollers – Grippy will track your activity levels, provide dietary advice, daily hand stretches and offer live inter-active exercise sessions. 

Placement Images – Selection of images showing range of activities conducted on placement year.

I was able to develop my own design and prototyping skills whilst helping to inspire students creative thinking.

Ranging from woodwork , silicone casting , metal fabrication , laser cutting ,spray painting and finishing of 3D printed components into high end prototypes.

Design Week – Reducing the Load on The NHS – Diagnosis and assessment of patients mouth for dental plaque and subsequent risk contracting NV-HAP. Mitigating against unnoticed dental plaque within at risk bedridden patients. Concept enabling enhanced visibility into patients mouth , highlighting oral hygiene and prevalent Oral Microbiota.

It was first reported in the 1920s that dental plaque emits red fluorescence by ultraviolet ray irradiation.


  • Diploma in Professional Studies

Work Experience

Placement year at The Henrietta Barnett school as “The Design, Technology and Engineering Placement Student.”

My year in industry and time away from university life has allowed me to consolidate my previous learnings and study of User-Centred Design – whilst also being able to offer insights and inspiration to students’ coursework and major projects.

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers