TPO Phone store

The project

As Head of Design/UX for TPO in mid 2015 I switched focus to TPO’s impending 2016 launch in the US cell phone market. TPO wanted to rival other prepaid phone services but with the added incentive that 10% of a customer’s bill went to a cause of their choice.

User Experience & research

I was responsible for designing front-to-back UX for the company’s online storefront and customer service environment e.g. my account section, billilling, payment, set up environments.

The most complex element of the project was understanding how users in the US are able to choose plans, given that there is an entirely different approach in the UK. In the US, for example, users didn’t have to deal with sim cards and so could generally switch providers much more freely.. To improve my understanding I went over to our NYC office to spend time with the team and better understand the processes involved. A third party was recruited to facilitate the phone plans (switch on) and data that formed part of TPO’s ‘phone plan provider’s’ offering. The user journey when dealing with this third party and the payment gateways that accompanied it had to be a smooth as possible. My challenge was to make it so. Conducting competitive research was fundamental in this process to enable us as a UK team to understand how similar providers in the US operate.

Comparison research

Userflows & prototypes

Through rigorous user flow testing, based on the knowledge of the types of user, I was able to present a streamlined solution to the wider team which was constantly reviewed by the development team, product owners and aforementioned 3rd party suppliers to make sure the planned functionality and flows were approved. I regularly presented walkthroughs in the form of user flowcharts and interactive wireframe prototypes to provide incorporate regular feedback into my process.

After the user flows came the wireframe prototyping, these originally included sketched versions of pages through to rapid prototyping. These were often presented, and refined with the aforementioned (3rd party) partners as well as customer service and development teams as well as senior stakeholders inc CEO & CTO.

Every step of the user’s journey was visualised in wireframe mode from signing up to choosing a phone plan, each journey was scrutinised by myself and the teams. We would often test out the prototypes with people to test the competency of the designs.

Store wireframe prototypes

My account wireframe

Wireframe prototype


Branding agency Iris Worldwide were appointed as the team to work with us to develop the brand and positioning in the US market with design filtering down into the UK brand. Working with the TPO CEO, Co Founder I spent time working the Iris through the process of the design but also the integration of assets for the website, spending time in their NYC office

As well as advising on the rebrand and subsequent launch of the brand in the US,

In addition to this I also worked on the UI for the store fronts,. Working with both the marketing team in the US and the branding agency I was able to create various site designs from soft launch to fully rolled out designs that promoted the company in the US market.

Mobile design

Store UI

My role included
Product research
User research
User testing
Tablet/Mobile UX/UI
Web Design
Creative Direction
Developed concepts
Visual Design


Go live design


“Sam is by far one of the most talented, all round creatives I have worked with. He has turned our products into world class propositions & built and led a team that are energised by his passion and professionalism. He has the rare mix of strategic thinking coupled with mind blowing ideas that make him the best in his space.”

Tom Gutteridge
Co-Founder of The People’s Operator (TPO)