Helping small creatives make sense of the business side.

"For creative micro-businesses who need to keep on top of day-to-day tasks, Headway is a reminder and work facilitation tool that makes running a small creative business easy. Unlike Reminders, the product won’t interrupt your day, instead it’ll send you an email with a task list you can manage, at a time you decide on and even let you launch each task from that email."

As a designer who was running several projects, it could be a challenge to meet the needs of those projects, from having enough content ready for my blog and social media, to designing and making new products and keeping up with client requests and invoicing. I daydream about my ideal productivity app and haven't quite been able to find one that combines reminders and actually help me out in areas where I was a little lost. I knew that I wasn't the only one having this problem.


  • I hit the boards at Etsy (very large designer-maker community).
  • I wrote a survey and put it on one of my websites and shared the link on FaceBook and Etsy.
  • I read research done by Etsy in 2013.
  • I talked with some other creative people I knew.
  • I collated the results in a spreadsheet and added some formulas so I could more easily see trends.

Research Results

Without giving away all my hard work, here are just a few of the results.

  • All respondents had shops on Etsy. (Not surprising given I was targeting that audience.)
  • All respondents had more than one income stream. Some include: online selling platforms, design markets, wholesale sales, freelance or contract client work, part-time in-house or agency design.
  • Almost all respondents had creative careers outside of their Etsy work.
  • Very high percentage wanted help and reminders to do things on the business side when it was needed.
  • Most were not interested in another app for their phone. They were more interested in a desktop tool that they could sit down and get some serious work done with, in the peace and quite of their studio or office.


Card Sort

Finding out how other people look for content.

User Flows

Sketching is great for figuring it all out.

User Stories

See it from the users perspective.

Just a few of Headway's user stories.

Low Fidelity Prototype

Usability Testing

There were 3 participants, all of whom were very comfortable with browsing the internet, were in creative careers and had some knowledge of small business. I let them know that this was about testing the site, not them and if there were any confusing parts, it just meant they were very good at error finding! I explained what I was doing and that the recording was for my education and to help me take notes incase I miss anything. I asked them if they had any questions.

I used FaceTime and placed it as a small window to the bottom right of the computer monitor and occupying the rest of the screen was the browser window. I used QuickTime Player to record the whole screen, including audio, thereby capturing what the participant was doing within the browser and their reactions as they went through the process.

I found that I would be better with less information. It was too distracting, so I cut down a lot of the information that was initially in the card sort in order to streamline the process.

Just a sample of findings from the user testing.

Responsive Web Design Artboards in Illustrator

Visual Design

Summary of my contributions to this project:

User Research User Surveys User Interviews Personas IA User stories and flows UX Content strategy Wireframes UI Interaction Prototype User testing Usability report Axure Visual design

Back to the portfolio