Barry Khan

My design journey

My introduction to user centred design

I've always been creative and back in school often enjoyed using tools like publisher to make album covers for my favourite bands at the time, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Public Enemy (very eclectic I know). It wasn't until I went to university to study Multimedia Computing, part of the Computer Science course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

That course covered a lot, from coding with Java, data mining with Oracle, interaction and animation in Macromedia Director and HTML.

There were some great classes in Human Computer Interaction and was immediately drawn to that, and the Director course. Thought I might become a CD Rom designer, probably a good move I didn't stick to that niche!

The areas I focused on while at university and was the basis of my thesis was:

In 2003 while at University I managed to get a placement year working for an NHS initiative, through the Modernisation Agency. The role involved designing E-Learning tools to empower NHS staff. There were some great talented people on the team, many with lived experience of being Nurses and leaders within the NHS. Due to the hard work of the team that project went on to win an award at the IT Institute.

After graduating in 2004, I went to work for Birmingham City University (UCE then). Initially as a graphic designer, but the role moved into digital as CSS became more common.


For the next 10 years I worked for different design agencies, apart from a 2 year stint client side for a shipping company. Really interesting role that meant a lot of travelling, including two trips to West Africa.


After freelancing for many years I became a permanent UX designer at fish in a bottle. I really enjoyed how creative that role was. The platforms varied from project to project; including:

Back to the user

Throughout my career I always brought a user centered design approach to all problems I face, championing research and bestowing its benefits to stakeholders.

The move to Senior Interaction Designer in 2017, to a high profile HMRC project, came very naturally. The mix of design and tech is the perfect mix for me.

My government design work includes:

Read more about my current work at Ministry of Justice.