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Service, UX and innovation designer passionate about digital transformation and co-design

In May 2021, I took a service and UX re-design consultancy project for a small but growing cryptocurrency exchange with a US MSB license. After a series of co-design workshops with the team aimed at understanding the ecosystem and business goals, I embarked on a user research journey aimed at profiling the existing user base and developing a deep understanding of their goals, pain points and motivations.

As the exchange platform already had data from the CRM system and product analytics platform, I decided to combine quantitative and qualitative analysis methods to create data-driven user personas.

Step 1. Analytics and Clustering

I started by carefully…

Duolingo is a global language learning app that uses gamification to make language learning accessible and fun for millions of people across the world. It offers multiple languages to choose from and start learning. The app has both paid and free options. In terms of the content, the two versions are almost identical, however, the paid version is ad-free, while the free version isn’t.

In the May of 2020, stuck at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I decided to work a bit on self-development. As a designer, I’m in love with specific challenges. …

Debunking the essence of blockchain technology and discussing practical examples of its use cases across different service sectors.

Source: Unsplash

Blockchain might be one of the most notable technological innovations of the last decade. It has recently gained immense popularity in innovator communities, as it can solve some fundamental challenges recurring in many industries. Among many things, blockchain can inject transparency in operations, address data privacy and security challenges and solve the issue of trust in transaction handling.

Considering this, it is particularly important for product, service and system designers to understand the technology and be aware of the opportunities that it provides.

In this article, I will try to explain the essence of blockchain technology and bring practical examples…

Context and Challenge

Supportiv is an online peer-to-peer mental health support service founded in 2018. It matches people with similar mental health struggles in online chatrooms. The chatrooms are moderated by trained human moderators to keep them troll free. The matching is done by a smart system that uses natural language processing. The participants type what is their struggle in a conversational interface and the technology matches them. The technology is patented by Supportiv. During the chats the moderators use the AI again to recommend customized self-help resources to the participants while they chat. …

By Gabriele Leonardi, Poli.Design lab


The city of Milan was facing a problem with public housing. First, there were a lot of underutilized spaces in and around the social housing complexes (e.g. basements, abandoned parks, etc.). Second, even though most of these housing complexes were located in rather central and functional areas of the city, there was a problem with social exclusion in these neighborhoods. Since the majority of public housing residents were low income people; a lot of them were immigrants that had not necessarily entered the country legally but have been living in these housings for many years and have always tried to…

Prototyping is an experimental process where designers implement ideas into tangible forms of varying degrees of fidelity to capture design concepts and test them with users. Prototypes allow designers to refine and validate designs quickly and without the huge investment costs associated with development of entire solutions. Most importantly, prototypes help learn from failures, receive feedback and incrementally polish the offerings to meet the ultimate user needs. Briefly put, prototyping is the blood of the entire design process — be it product, communication, system, experience, or service design.

However critical, prototyping is not always easy to implement in practice. When…


90% of the world’s goods transportation is seaborne and the share is projected to grow until 2030. This fact has lead to a rise in terms of container throughput. On the other hand, the shipping industry has always been focusing on ports and it has always been strictly reactive to demand unable to forecast it in advance. On average, 40% of the total shipping time ships spent waiting in ports, due to the current “first come — first served” slot allocation system.

Digitization that has revolutionized many industries for years could address some of the aforementioned issues in the logistic…



In November 2019, during a design fiction workshop conducted at Politecnico Di Milano, our cohort of graduate service design students got challenged to save the future of our humanity from a catastrophe.

We were given a fictional story called the “Milano Blackout”. The story was about a mysterious series of electricity breakdowns occurring in different cities around the world. According to the scenario, no one could explain the occurrence of the breakdowns and once they happened, no one knew for how long it would last. One of the cities affected by the breakdown was beautiful Milano. …

Sometimes, traditional research methods, such as surveys, focus groups, web analytics, diary studies, task analyses, etc. are not enough for product and service designers to understand the “Why’s” behind the users’ decisions and to get creative insights from the users to inform the design alternatives.

Frequently, traditional methods don’t uncover users’ motivations and problems fully. This might be attributed to the fact that the users themselves are not always fully aware of the reasons behind their behaviors, attitudes and opinions. Often, we, humans make choices, behave or react in certain ways because of past experiences and resulting prejudices embedded in…

Nare K.

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