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Nicola has worked as a designer across UX, UI, research and consulting for 11 years, with a strong focus on user research since 2016. In addition to running her own freelance design practice, she has worked with clients including Atlassian, Google, Telstra, Service NSW, the Aboriginal Legal Service, and Gamechanger. She was the first head of design at Sydney property management startup :Different, where she built a design team and cross-cultural practice based on human centred design and research. She was also the first local design hire in Sydney for consulting firm Pivotal Labs. She has spoken at international design and research conferences including in Paris, Jamaica and Milan. Since 2021 she has been based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She is a generalist product designer with skills across the broad range of lean UX, user research, UI design and agile product strategy.


Digital Driver License, NSW

Nicola led design on the greenfield discovery, research and MVP development of the digital driver license app for Service New South Wales, a government arm in the most populous state in Australia. After a successful release, the app is now used by almost 4 million citizens.

Different - property management startup founded by ex-Uber head of Product

As the head of design and first designer hired in the company, Nicola built a team of designers across Sydney and Sri Lanka, developed a design system, and built a design process and culture within the fast-growing company. She also designed the MVP of the company’s mobile app and internal software, ran extensive user research, and worked with the founders to develop the product strategy around the internal tooling, software powering the company’s unique value proposition.

Nicola Rushton


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