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Present Pal logo
Present Pal shown on 3 different phones, each showing a different part of the app

A presentation support app for neurodiverse students

The problem

The Present Pal app was originally built without design expertise and so had a variety of usability, accessibility, and design issues. The app also didn't have any cloud storage which I felt was essential for the product


The development team and I quickly realised that rebuilding the app from scratch would be quicker than gradually changing what we had.

An older version of Present Pal, showing the rehearsal mode
An older version of Present Pal showing the presentation list
A screenshot of the iOS accessibility settings on mobile
A screenshot of the React native paper library, showing different types of buttons

Early scoping

We worked with a former Senior Accessibility Engineer at Apple to thoroughly educate ourselves on the in-built tools within iOS and Android systems, and how we can best support users of them. We also researched which React library we should use to best suit our accessibility needs and settled on React Native Paper

We set accessibility as the foundation of this project very early on and it showed in the final product.

Designing, finessing

I gathered feedback from users to determine where the existing product had friction and looked to simplify and improve these user flows.


I created rough wireframes, then low fidelity mockups of the new product, and consulted with Nexer (previously Sigma) for feedback on the designs. Following some further iterations, we were ready to begin development.

A mockup of the updated Present Pal showing the visual settings screen
A mockup of the updated Present Pal showing the edit deck screen
A mockup of the updated Present Pal showing the flashcard list of a deck

Building, testing

Using Scrum methodology we iteratively created the new Present Pal. We introduced usage analytics to track how the product was being used and conducted dozens of hours of user testing with a neurodiverse group of users. 

We ironed out some of the creases, added further functionality, and created a product we all became very proud of.

2 different user tests, showing people testing Present Pal on a video call, their faces blurred.

Final designs, outcomes

The new Present Pal was easier for users to use, more accessible, and allowed us to expand our market from the UK to the USA.

Since releasing the new Present Pal;

  • We managed to re-engage and convert dozens of dormant customers

  • The product's Sean Ellis Test results reached 52%,

  • The company has tripled its market share in the industry

2 screenshots of Present Pal - one of the flashcard list, the other is presentation mode

Well done to the team - I really like it. The simplicity has been enhanced and the interaction with PowerPoint and Google Slides is just so smooth, it's superb!

Student support tutor

Student - Cornell University

It' s a great way to either learn information or practice studying information from class.  I thought it was easy to learn and a really helpful study tool I will definitely continue to use it!

The app is just so helpful, it's helped me through the last 2 years of university. It's the first thing I use when I need to prepare for a presentation

Student - University of Liverpool

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