3rd November 2017 | Berlin
Glug Profiles: Lauren Kelly

Full name: Lauren Kelly
Job title: Design Psychologist & UX Consultant
Location (city): Manchester/Berlin
Preferred website URL:
Preferred social handles: @wearedura


– Hi Lauren!

– So, apart from running Glug Berlin, who are you and what do you d
I am a Psychologist - come Designer - now Design Psychologist.

What does that even mean?

I apply psychology and behavioural insights to design and business problems. From designing for maximum comprehension to nudging positive behaviour and reducing cognitive load. I do these things at my studio, Dura. Where we turn people’s behaviour into provable success for our clients.

Outside of work, I love wearing a patterned shirt as much as Noel Fielding (GBBO, anyone?), love a cocktail and have been known to talk to people on busses - I’m that person.

– How did you end up doing what you’re doing now, then? What’s the story of 
I have a somewhat meandering start to my design career story. With many a bump along the way. The short version is that I studied Psychology at university, but self taught as a Designer. As a new graduate at the start of the recession, a career in design looked doubtful. That was, until I entered a Creative Review competition and miraculously won. I’m sure they have no idea how much it impacted my life, but, thanks CR.

Until that point I didn’t think I was good enough to be in the industry, let alone be shaking Patrick Burgoyne’s hand as he tells you he really likes your stuff. On leaving the Creative Review’s offices, I stood on Oxford Street, rang my now husband and proclaimed ‘pack your bags we are moving to London. I’m going to be a Designer’.

A month later, we were living in what some may call a squat and I started my first Junior Designer job. My psychology brain was never a quiet one, and I always came back to it whilst working on design projects.

Eventually I joined my two passions - design and psychology - and started my studio which specialises in Behavioural insights and UX design.

– What do you get up to when you’re not working? Got any exciting side hustles or passions to tell us about? Other than running the local Glug Chapter, that i
I believe is was Jessica Hische that coined the phrase ‘procrastiworking’. I am a procrastiworker. My current passion project is called Typewise. It helps people choose typefaces based on their psychological responses. From emotional associations, to accessibility and use environment.

I’ve spent over a year collating all the psychology research on typefaces and putting the findings into our algorithm. We are just putting the finishing touches to it, with launch in the next two weeks.

– Speaking of Glug — how come you got involved in the first place? And why 
Glug out of all the creative communities?
As a flash of lightening, I had the idea whilst helping Zach and Laura run HybridConf in Berlin. Hybrid was the friendliest conference I had, and have been to. It gave me a taste of being a part of a big friendly community and it was something I wanted to carry on. Hybrid + a couple of drunken Glug London’s shaped my love of Glug and its focus on being for everyone.

– Running a Glug Chapter takes time and effort, but what is the one thing that 
makes it all worth it in the end would you say?
For me, it’s that moment when you see people you introduced having fun and becoming friends. Sounds corny as, but we sometimes forget to get out of the studio and make friends outside of our specialty. That’s where the fun really happens.

– What’s the hardest thing about running a Glug Chapter would you say?

Remembering all the little things. It’s these that MAKE an event. From coaching new speakers, to designing the flow of the space that encourages people to actively meet and stocking the fridge with interesting non-alcoholic drinks. I put a lot of thought into these things and it changes how people act and feel about an event.

– Could you tell us about your favourite memory from a Glug event and why?
I always include a new speaker at Glug Berlin’s events. Seeing new speakers grow, from their moments of uncertainty at our first coffee to the audience applause at the end of their first talk. It is so fulfilling to bring these new voices to the stage.

In particular, Polina, at the last event was so amazing the audience gave her a standing ovation afterwards. It made me love what I do with Glug Berlin and all the Gluggers who attended and gave her so much support.

– If we go a bit dreamy, who are you hoping to bring to your local Glug stage in
the future?
Christoph Niemann. No explanation needed :)

– Ok, enough about Glug, let’s go back to ‘you’ again. If you were to swap job 
with someone else in the creative industry, who would this be and why?
Tea Uglow. She’s the Creative director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney. Where they are working at the forefront of exploring how human intelligence and creativity relates to, and differs from, artificial intelligence and creativity. To work, contemplate and philosophise about the intersection of design would be amazing.

- And… If you were given the opportunity to move anywhere without having to apply for any visa what-so- ever and we’d sort the packing for you — where 
would you go?
Antarctic base. I’ve always been a bit of an adventurer and believe you learn a lot about yourself when you live at the extremes. Where is more extreme than the Antarctic?

Quickfire Q’s:
InVision or Marvel - Invision

Laptop or Stationary - Laptop


Pen or Pencil - Pen

Blogs or Podcasts - Podcasts

Ian Hambleton or Nick Clement - Nican Clembleton - Super Glug Dad.

Top bunk or Bottom bunk - Top bunk

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