The tumultuous rapids of leadership — Photo by Tim Peterson on Unsplash

Adopting the philosophy of the Water Way

At the end of last year I took on the role of Head of Design at HM Land Registry, and now I’m about 3 months in I wanted to take some time to reflect on that time. I’d started remotely, during a global pandemic, whilst homeschooling and feeling fairly fatigued after a year of on-and-off lockdown and the low level stresses associated with that. During that time, I’d serendipitously picked up a copy of Shannon Lee’s “Be water, my friend: The true teachings of Bruce Lee”. …

Time to sunset 2020 and look towards 2021

The sun setting over Maiden Castle, Dorset, UK

The strange tale of 2020

This year has really done me in. Done us all in. At the start of the year I listed out everthing that I was planning to do, and it was a long and fairly epic list. Work in Paris, giving talks and workshops in Japan, Denmark, Berlin and Scotland, and meeting some of my UCD hero’s along the way. Growing the UCD community I started called UX Coffee. Holidays and time off spent with loved ones. Although I got to do the first bit, the rest fell by the wayside as Covid took hold and the world shut down. …

A crafty day out at Cranborne Ancient Technology Centre

I thought it might be interesting to write about something other than UX, service design and research for once, so here’s a short segway into some of the crafty activities I got up to one sunny weekend near Cranborne, Dorset.

If you’ve met me you’ll know I have a love of all things woolly, so a day out learning how to dye my own wool using medieval techniques was hard to pass up. We had our medieval experts Kat Stasinska and Monica on hand to show us the techniques, teach us the history, and make sure we didn’t make a…

How a low-fi experience can still be immersive, educational, memorable and inclusive

Image credit: Microsoft/Mojang

Like many parents around the world who have been thrust into close quarters with their family 24 hours a day due to the pandemic, I too have been desperately trying to adapt to homeschooling, juggling both mine and my husbands working day, and even more difficult: entertaining a small child in between. And sometimes at the same time as all the other stuff. It’s not easy, and it’s amazing how quickly young kids tire of something and need something new and interesting to hold their attention…

Photo by Slava Stupachenko on Unsplash

A collection of wisdom collected up over the years from others and my own experiences.

Once in a while we have a moment of complete clarity, and it was in a rare moment of peace and quiet this week that a number of thoughts about what I would say to myself at the beginning of my career all came rushing at me out of nowhere. I’ve tried to collect them up, and provide examples where possible. Most of them are so deceptively obvious, but that doesn’t make them any less important. It’s long, and meant to be dipped in and…

Using the term “design leader” has got out of control. Can we all please, just calm down.

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be a design leader, either overt or undercover — i’m far from it. These are some observations of the community I find myself orbiting. Also, this is probably a bit ranty.

tldr; Design leadership is a state of mind, not a label you can stick on as you wish.

These days, you can’t go five minutes without hearing the word “design leader” or “design leadership” tossed around, like it’s something you purchase in a box and plug…

I’d always heard good things about the conference the good folks at UX Scotland put on each year, and boy were they right! I tentatively submitted a talk to the conference at the end of 2018 thinking that it was way beyond my skill level to speak there, so imagine my surprise when I was accepted to speak at their 2019 conference.

I flew up from the South coast and arrived at 1am on Wednesday morning. I then had a rather wet and windy half-walk, half-run through the city centre wheeling a child’s penguin case behind me and being laughed…

Below small windows on a brick wall” by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

Part 1

As the field of Experience Design seems to expand ever outwards, and peoples lives become more reliant on the things we create, I really think there ought to be an ethical code of conduct that all designers pledge to stand by. We’re in the creation business. Be it a website, an app, or an offline experience, we are creating something, for someone, somewhere. The consumers of what we create are people. Human beings. And every time there is a human being involved, there should be guidance for how we can best serve those people. To give, rather than take away…

Image source:

I decided to put this list together after I realised I had read a lot of books (for me) over the past few months. I don’t usually hang onto books I’ve read either, but I noticed I was accumulating a large stack of books with lots of sticky notes in — always a good sign that I got a lot of value from them. So I’ve decided to share some of the books I’ve found that, although not strictly UX books, discuss the foundational topics like human behaviour or key skills UX designers should possess.

These books blew me away…

Laura Yarrow

UX and tech geek. Observer of humans. Crisp connoisseur. Yarn fondler. Undercover Northerner.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store