HullCoin - Local Digital Currency


Client: Kaini Industries




Service Design
User Experience Design
User Research
Usability Testing


November 2015–March 2016


Marie Cheung
Sarah Drummond


HullCoin is a local digital currency created to combat poverty through positive action and rewards within the city of Hull.

From November 2015 to March 2016, I supported the not-for-profit company Kaini Industries with the development and design of their digital platform and service. The Alpha phase was completed in four parts: initial service blueprinting workshop, user experience and brand design, usability testing and ongoing product development.


During our first workshop, I worked with Sarah Drummond (Co-founder of Snook) with the team to outline user journeys and form the service model. We quickly sketched wireframes of the public front-facing user pages along the user journey. This enabled the team to better understand their vision, team roles and how the HullCoin system and process would work. Designing for mobile first, we then created five modules to minimize development time across the platform.

Presenting HullCoin

“It has played a pivotal part in progressing HullCoin from an academic concept to a minimum viable product.”

– David Shepherdson, Kaini Industries

I planned, designed and ran six usability testing sessions over two days, from the 3-4 February 2016, in Hull. Though the alpha site was not fully developed, testing early drew insights that guided the site design. This made more efficient use of development time. We tested the navigation, how it works and key functions of HullCoin’s live site with each user group: public user, issuer and redeemer.

The client’s involvement with the user research and testing proved really valuable. The users felt listened to and were contributing to a local venture with massive potential. Clients heard the users’ experience firsthand and learnt the importance of language. Even the developer found it useful to be able to make quick changes to test on the fly.

I held weekly check-ins to support funding pitches, discuss website functions and manage tasks. We also worked with developers to translate the user experience onto the website.


I coached and developed a usability testing toolkit for the HullCoin team to do their own usability testing. One month later, HullCoin adopted the toolkit and user tested the end-to-end service experience. It was met with great success as their service model worked in real life with real users. The story was captured and published on The Guardian's website.

“Working with Snook really helped to bring HullCoin to life. How Sarah and Marie engaged with us as a start-up was exactly what we needed at our company's stage of development.”

– David Shepherdson, Kaini Industries


HullCoin Website Mockup – Homepage
HullCoin Website Mockup – Wallet Dashboard
HullCoin Website Mockup – Activities page
HullCoin Website Mockup – Activities (Mobile)

© Marie Cheung