#eye #eye


Wave Forward

#Interaction Design #Service Design #Inclusivity

Collaborators: Kev & Glyn (Founders, SurfABLE Scotland), Dr Christine Farion, Aryaman Jacob, Shashank Gedala, Suraj P Suresh, Varanneya Thakore, Yaxuan Li

My Role: Design Researcher, Interaction Designer

Duration: 12 week


SurfABLE Scotland stands as Scotland's pioneering surf school, designed for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) as well.

Offering both surfing and swimming lessons, SurfABLE provides a fully adaptive and inclusive experience.

Too long & don’t want to read?

Below is the entire project at a glance

Research Methods

1. Ethnography
2. Case studies
3. Interviews
4. Participatory Action Research
  Literature review

Ethnographic observations of a surf lesson
Interview with Kev Anderson (Co-Founder, SurfABLE)
Interview with Caleb Reed (Adaptive Surf Project)

Key Findings

From surveys & interviews


of the students taking the surf classes were diagnosed within the neurodiverse spectrum


of the students enroll for one class a week


of the families said the first interaction with SurfABLE was key for them to enoll for the surf lessons

Identified Opportunities

From Ethnography

Opportunity 1: Changing Rooms

Opportunity 2: Transfers - Easier way to move equipments

Opportunity 3: Transfers - Easier way to move equipments

Opportunity 4: Van space redesign

Who are we designing for?

Persona and student journey

We met, observed and interviewed 11 families, 17 students, 8 experts and volunteers. And we were able to find thre types of surf students.

The above graph maps of the priorities of each of the personas with respect to Health, Skill, Fun and Socializing. 

We also mapped out the journey of a student throughout a surf session, it was identified that the experience dips at carrying the board and equipments from car park to beach and back.

Analysis & Ideation


I work with a tonne of sticky notes, noting and grouping down key points from the research. 

I do understand that the below image may look EXTREEEEEMMMEEELYYYY complicated but it isn’t, we connected key codes from our research and grouped them into various themes, and ideated on these themes and mapped out the impact of these ideas on the students, tutors, cost feasibility and time to deploy.


Design intervention

1. Surfboard bag:

A hands free surf board holding bag. The bag also has space for personal belongings.

2. Graphical organizer:

To write down goals and steps to achieve them. This can be attached on the surf bag.

3. Rewards:

Different types of patches for each goal that the students complete.

Usability Testing


Business Impact

For the initial few weeks the students who scheduled a class a week started opting for two classes a week to smash their surf goals.

After running this intervention for two months, the average student registration increased from

4 classes a month to 6 classes a month.

Other visible impact that could be directly corelated with the intervention are:

Impact 01:  Easier for mentors to personalize coaching for each student.

Impact 02:  Enable students diagnosed with neurodivergence strengthen their executive functioning.

Impact 03:  Reduced fatigue and ease for transporting surf boards from car park to beach and vice versa.