Client confidentiality means that most of my work cannot be shown hence the visually barren page and vague project examples; it’s frustrating but understandably necessary. Alternatively, please hop over to my design doodles page where I’ll be posting and hosting more visually informative work-in-progress which will be 100% free from the shackles of confidentiality.

Premium compact digital camera –– 2010

Next-generation vacuum cleaners –– 2011

Nasal spray for allergic rhinitis (AR) –– 2012

(Project manager & lead designer)

(Lead designer)

(Lead designer)

Conceptualising research outcomes into compelling designs with strong and differentiated value propositions.

Innovation project bringing to life insightful propositions for next-generation cylinder and robotic vacuum cleaners.

Enhancing the usability of a prescription-only intranasal steroid (INS) for a world-leading healthcare company.

Sales of compact cameras have been falling, challenged by a new generation of camera-equipped smartphones with improved sensor technology. In comparison to smartphones, compact digital cameras no longer seem quite so compact and convenient. We never forget to bring our smartphones with us and the best camera is always the one you have with you.


In a market eroded by the convenience of smartphones, the challenge was to try and breathe new life into the point-and-shoot camera market by focussing on the value of the compact camera and what differentiates it versus a smartphone. What enhancements or innovations would make a best-in-class compact camera and how could this be communicated and made obvious and recognisable to the consumer in-store amongst shelves and shelves of competitor products?


A secondary challenge was to create value propositions so strong that they mitigate the client's lack of heritage with optics.


Emerging market opportunities were identified and combined with insights gathered from user research that were then fed into creative workshops. Focussed idea generation followed leading to the concept development of prioritised feature sets.


The concepts were reinforced with strong, eye-catching visual cues to help communicate new and differentiated product features and functionality. The result was a standout product with clearly articulated intent, enhanced in-store presence and emotional impact on the shelf.

Since the global economic downturn in 2008, the major home appliance market has been stagnant and even shrinking in Europe. However, vacuum cleaners have proven to be recession resistant.


The category’s growth in the recent years was driven mainly by new, innovative technological features such as bagless, cordless, improved absorption power as well as energy efficiency and inclusion of vacuum cleaning robots. Vacuum cleaning robots registered approximately 80% growth in value terms for the past four years in Europe. Previous market research in Europe forecasted that the current growing demand for robot cleaners will be continued with improved core performance.


As a minor player in the marketplace, the client sought to exploit the potential for growth and dominate the area utilising its core competencies in related fields. The challenge was addressing their brand reputation in this sector versus the perception of the industry leader, held in very high esteem by consumers.


The aim of the project was to uncover highly relevant value propositions and develop revolutionary product ideas and solutions for vacuum cleaning products, especially focused on two premium platforms that would form the strategic business focus for the client in year 2013 –– next-generation bagless canister and robot cleaners.


Concepts revolved around platform-level solutions with design efforts equally focussed on the context of retail touch points to help draw consumer attention at point-of-sale.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould or certain animals. It is a common condition affecting one in four people.


AR is not usually harmful but it can be irritating and affect your quality of life. There are several treatment choices but the most common are oral, such as antihistamines, or intranasal such as intranasal steroids (INS). INS are recommended as first-line therapy in individuals with moderate-to-severe AR.


The client had introduced a new, prescription-only INS to the market which in clinical trials had shown significant improvements in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. It had also demonstrated improvement in health-related quality of life domains. However, despite the nasal spray device winning a Medical Design Excellence Award, usability issues/flaws became apparent leading to improper use, thereby resulting in patients experiencing compromised efficacy and symptom relief.


The aim of the project was to deliver easy to implement solutions that contribute to making the device easier to learn, understand and operate, thereby improving the user experience by ensuring more confidence and satisfaction with the device. This extended into exploring broader propositions across the patient journey including the out-of-the-box experience and supplementary service-orientated solutions to help guide and support the patient with managing their AR.

Periodontal disease diagnostic system –– 2007

(Lead strategist)

Opioid addiction treatment strategy –– 2007

Responsible self-medication –– 2007

(Project manager & lead strategist)

Improving Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) to help alleviate the health and social impact of opioid addiction.

Opioids are naturally occurring opiates and synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs that act on opioid receptors in the brain and can cause dependance due to their euphoric effects. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is the medically supervised administration of a psychoactive substance that is similar to the one producing the dependence. The two most common medications used for substitution therapy are methadone and buprenorphine. Used in this way, these substances have a stable non-intoxicating effect, while diminishing the effects of any additional opioid use.


This project was initiated in response to the client’s future plans for two of their opiate dependance drugs. These buprenorphine-based treatments are highly successful pharmaceuticals marketed as heroin substitutes, yet were coming off patent at a time that the market was expanding. In response to the inevitable challenge from generic suppliers, the client wished to investigate ways to enhance the effectiveness of OST across the whole treatment and rehabilitation journey.

(Project manager & lead strategist)

Exploring consumer behaviour, attitudes and perceptions for the leading provider of OTC medications.

Non-narcotic painkillers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin are found in most over-the-counter (OTC) products. Although OTC drugs are proven to be reasonably safe and well-tolerated, some are sold in strictly limited formulations, small packet sizes, or are only available through a pharmacist limiting the potential for misuse.


The client has the leading ibuprofen and paracetamol brands in the UK with their ibuprofen medication being the fastest growing analgesic brand globally. The client sought to further strengthen their position by moving beyond regulatory compliance to reinforce the message that they are responsible providers of pain-relief and cold and flu medications. Driven by consumer insights, the objective was to generate a range of actionable propositions to help lead the area of responsible self-medication.

Ambulatory oxygen therapy system –– 2006

(Lead designer)

Devising platforms for the implementation of a novel technology for the assessment and monitoring of gum disease.

The World Health Organisation reports that most adults in developed countries suffer periodic gum disease caused by infection between the edge of the gum and the surface of the tooth through accumulation of bacterial plaque. Although leading toothpaste brands contain antibacterial ingredients which may limit the extent of the disease, such infections can lead initially to inflammation which if not treated can extend between the gum and tooth creating a pocket so the tooth is unsupported, becomes loose and eventually is lost.


There are currently (2007) no accurate clinical methods for dentists to distinguish between active and dormant sites in periodontal disease progression. The client’s novel protease biosensor technology addresses this by enabling dentists to identify areas of active inflammation immediately prior to treatment. The aim of the project was to devise a series of holistic, user-centred, point-of-care product-service frameworks for the diagnostic protocol.

Drug delivery device for diabetes –– 2006

(Lead designer)

Surigical instrument reader –– 2002

(Lead designer)

Implementing next generation technology to improve patient adherence and quality of life on long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT).

Developing an inventive delivery device for a new, once-daily drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Developing a handheld surgical instrument reader for the identification, tracking and traceability of surgical instruments within hospitals.

A significant issue with the tracking of surgical instruments is the lack of reliable identification techniques. As a result, only whole instrument trays or sets are tracked. The solution lies in how to identify instruments on an individual level with a technique that can deal with the wide range of shapes, sizes and colours of instruments, whilst also withstand handling, last the life of the instrument, and not cause rusting or stress corrosion.


The client recognised the opportunity for their unique ‘dot peened Data Matrix 2D code’ for application within the medical industry as a viable means for tracking individual instruments. The aim of the project was to utilise the client’s coding system and research and develop a handheld reader specifically for use in a medical context.

Lung disease is a major global health and economic burden. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects 600 million people worldwide and is highlighted in the NHS plan for long term conditions. COPD is characterised by obstruction to airflow that is not fully reversible and it is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath (dyspnea).


The lack of a truly portable system affects health and quality of life via severely constrained domestic activity, exercise and community engagement, as people find themselves tethered to immobile gas supplies. Current NHS oxygen systems evolved from industrial gas applications and not patient needs. They are large, heavy and uncomfortable thus contributing directly to unacceptably low adherence levels (<40%).


The aim of the project was to design and implement a patient-driven system to achieve high levels of performance and safety at breakthrough cost within an integrated, lightweight, and ergonomic design.

The development of a new drug by one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies required the design of a new delivery device for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. The drug was aimed at the entire Type 2 diabetes market requiring solutions considerate of the needs of a varying range of potential users including:


• drug naive patients;

• patients switching from oral antidiabetic treatment (i.e. naive to injections); and

• elderly and physically impaired patients.


The aim of the project was to simplify self-injection and overcome the issues commonly associated with the treatment of diabetes such as user dexterity and needle phobia. Alongside engineering and usability challenges, another aim was to explore device aesthetics and how receptive patients might be towards alternatives to the conventional pen-like devices on the market.

Design research & strategy

Advanced fertility monitoring system –– 2007

(Project manager & lead strategist)

Providing decision-making frameworks for the development of an emerging fertility monitoring technology.

2030: Low-carbon healthcare –– 2009


Exploring the long-term measures required to maintain a quality health service in the face of climate change.

2020: Future health and personal care strategy –– 2007


Looking into the future of health and personal care within the themes of new communities, sustaining loyalties and global responsibility.

Chronic care management –– 2011


Defining a 'digital health' product-service system to help improve the effectiveness of existing pharmaceutical treatments.

Health technology strategy –– 2008

(Lead strategist)

Enhancing the translation of pre-commercial medical devices/technologies into innovative products for the NHS.

Monitored Dosage System (MDS) –– 2007


Transforming a market-leading medication storage, handling and administration system.

Digital photography futures –– 2011


Redefining the point-and-shoot market with propositions that embody the familiarity and versatility of smartphones with the performance and creative expression of compact cameras.

Memory Clinics –– 2008


Service transformation to proactively encourage the maintenance of mental acuity.

Product design and development

Entry-level GSM mobile phone –– 2012


Designing a family of entry-level GSM mobile phone concepts for one of the world's leading manufacturers of telecommunications equipment.

Laparoscopic access port –– 2009

(Lead designer)

New product development of an advanced, novel access port for minimally invasive surgery.

Delivery device for synthetic bone graft substitute –– 2008

(Project manager and lead designer)

Design and development, through to manufacture, of a premium delivery device for a world leader in synthetic bone graft technologies.

Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) –– 2003

(Lead designer)

The design and manufacture of a range of environmental control and communication aids for the disabled, elderly and severely handicapped.

Kitchen appliances –– 2012


New product development across food mixer and food preparation categories for a world famous kitchen brand.

Cell therapy : chronic wound care applicator –– 2006

(Lead designer)

Creating an inventive, easy to use applicator for the leading developer of regenerative medicine products.

Legionella control and monitoring system –– 2009

(Project manager & lead designer)

Developing a cost-effective and fully automated wireless legionella control system to test and monitor water delivery temperature.

Servo and motion control drives –– 2005


Product refresh for a leading supplier of intelligent drives for commercial and industrial motor control applications.

These selected projects are a combination of projects undertaken whilst employed at Pearson Matthews as well as projects undertaken as a freelance designer to consultancies and clients.

Ian Dera Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 7599085. VAT Registration GB110746741.

© Copyright 2015 Ian Dera Limited