Northumbria University Student Brief Update


The brief that we have been given by Komodo is to design a new solution that helps recent graduates understand their student loan, how they are repaying, and what help they have available to them when it comes to repaying their debt.

Before we started working towards the brief, we visited the Komodo studio to introduce ourselves and to meet the team we will be working alongside with through the duration of the project.

On Monday we had our first visit where we met with Komodo’s design team to discuss more about the brief and general ice breaking. During the meeting, we were given a general timeline of work to complete over the course of our work experience. We left fired up and eager to start working, as our second meeting was to take place on Wednesday where we would show the work we have completed so far.

User Personas

On Tuesday morning we met bright and early at our studio in university to work on user personas. We were given Komodo’s UX kit to work with, this was extremely beneficial even though as students we have completed more user personas than we can count on our hands, but we have never looked at it the same way the UX kits detailed. We created two user personas:

  • Sophie, a 30-year-old teacher whose salary is about to change and is wondering how it would affect her student loan repayment.
  • Claire, a 20-year-old student who is concerned with budgeting her money to prepare her for student loan repayment.

User research

As well as the personas we began to gather research of what student finance is all about and the technical aspects of how student loan repayment works. Did you know there are two plans and you can be on both at the same time? I surely didn’t. Alongside the technical research, we also looked for competitive research. As expected, the results we found information that was extremely text heavy with only one or two exceptions. For this, we looked at both web-based and iOS competitors. We believe that user research is critical to this brief, so we conducted interview questions to have people who are at different points of their studies:

  • Students who are still in High School or College
  • Students who have just started University and students who are in their 3rd or 4th year (We thought it would be interesting to interview students who are at two different places at university as we can see if their thoughts have changed about student finance)
  • Recent Graduates
  • People who have graduated for X amount of years

With such a diverse range of people to ask, the feedback we would receive would be extremely beneficial to our research.

With all these tasks completed, we entered them into a google slide to present on Wednesday. Meeting back with the Komodo team, we presented our research and user personas. They were extremely happy with the progress we made.

Keep an eye on the Komodo insights page to stay up to date with the progress Jay, Ben and Sam have been making. You can find an introduction to the project and the team in our previous post. We are looking forward to seeing their initial concepts and thoughts from over the Easter break.


Curiosity is what drives us to learn and grow professionally enabling us to remain vigilant to change and the opportunities it presents for our clients. We document some of this learning and share it via our 'Insights' section.